Father's Club - Mission Trail Middle School - Disc Golf Course

By Jim Bradford, Chapter Chair at Mission Trail Middle School

The Mission Trail Middle School Father’s Club hit the ground running recently. The brand-new chapter and latest middle school in Olathe to have a Father’s Club chapter chipped in with some good old fashioned sweat equity behind the school.

Earlier this year, Mission Trail science teacher Perry Martin took the lead on building a new 18-hole disc golf course on the Mission Trail property. To ensure they were able to build an appealing, as well as challenging, course, Martin felt as though they should take advantage of the densely wooded area behind the school. That meant clearing the wooded area. He began the project last spring after securing the 18 disc golf baskets through a grant (and a matching grant).

He started clearing some of the area himself, but soon realized the task was a bit too daunting.

Father's Club - Mission Trail Middle School - Disc Golf Course Father's Club - Mission Trail Middle School - Disc Golf Course

Enter the brand-new Mission Trail Father’s Club.

A group of five Mission Trail fathers, Martin and band instructor Eric Griffin chipped in to help further clear the area where three holes would wind their way through the woods behind the school.

With a few heavy-duty trimmers and some chainsaws, the course is starting to come into focus. Another work day is planned in the coming weeks to tackle the back nine.

Way to go, Mission Trail Father’s Club! The kids are going to love this new disc golf course.

By Dan Holdhusen, Grandfather of two graduates and two currently enrolled in Blue Valley High School

The Father’s Club recently received the coveted 2023 Blue Valley Schools “Friends of Education” award. The Friends of Education designation is a 20-year program that recognizes “individuals and organizations in the community who have made outstanding contributions to public education.”

The official recognition of the Father’s Club took place at the Blue Valley district’s April 10, 2023, school Board meeting. Those attending the award ceremony and recognition are shown below:

Father's Club 2023 Friends of Education Award

From left to right: Dr. Tonya Merrigan, Superintendent of Blue Valley School District; Patrick Hurley, President of BV Board of Education; Brad Holdhusen, Father’s Club President; Clay Norkey, BV West 1st Chapter Chair; Todd Milner, BV Southwest 1st Chapter Chair; Randy Bratton, FC Dir. Of Growth (standing in for Chris Merkel, BV Northwest 1st Chapter Chair); and Doug McIntyre, BV North 1st Chapter Chair

The Blue Valley district also produced a short video honoring and recognizing the Father’s Club organization. Highlighted in the video are two high school leaders: Dr. Katie Bonnema, principal at Blue Valley West, and Dr. Tyler Alexander, principal at Blue Valley Southwest.

Drs. Bonnema and Alexander praised the Father’s Club, its mission, and its proactive involvement in the lives of students and teachers in their schools. Dr. Bonnema added that “… (FC members) are choosing to volunteer their time in our community and in our schools to serve a message of connectivity, connection, positivity and support and they couldn’t be more deserving.”

Father's Club 2023 Friends of Education AwardBrad Holdhusen, speaking on behalf of the entire Father’s Club organization across the metro area and, in particular, the group representing the Blue Valley school district said:

“We cannot be prouder and more pleased at being recognized for this prestigious award from the Blue Valley district. Father’s Club is not seeking achievement awards. But this recognition is accepted with a deep sense of pride and humility on behalf of the hundreds of dads who put the welfare and education of our kids first.”

By Tim Ginnings, Lee’s Summit West Co-Chair for Father’s Club

On Thursday March 16th, the Board of Education for the Lee’s Summit School District presented the three Father’s Club Chapters in Lee’s Summit with a Certificate of Recognition at their monthly board meeting. Chapter leads from each of the high schools (Lee’s Summit, Lee’s Summit West, and Lee’s Summit North) were present at the board meeting to accept the certificate.

Father’s Club Recognized by Lee’s Summit School Board

From left to right in the picture – Tim Ginnings and Cartus Rodgers, LSW; Jared Wirsig, LSHS; Don Keeting and Jeremy Marks, LSN.

Dr. Potts, the Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education, announced the recognition of the Father’s Club and read the Father’s Club Mission Statement prior to introducing the chapter leads.

Jeremy Marks addressed the Board during the presentation. He thanked Dr. Potts for his support, gave a short history about the development of the Father’s Club in Lee’s Summit, discussed a few examples of what the Father’s Clubs are doing in the schools and in the community. In conclusion he asked for continued support from the Lee’s Summit School District and Board.


Board member, Rodrick Sparks, added that he appreciated the Father’s Club contributions to the Lee’s Summit community. He recognized not only the effort of the Father’s Club in supporting students, but also expressed his appreciation for their love and humanity for other men and families in the community. He stated that he was happy for the work the Father’s Club was doing in the community and offered his continued support.

As a leadership team in Lee’s Summit, we are so grateful for the recognition and support of our School District and its board members.

Father’s Club Recognized by Lee’s Summit School Board

Happy Mother's Day 2022The Father’s Club wants to give a shout out to all moms out there as we approach Mother’s Day. Words cannot express the appreciation you deserve. We hope that you feel loved and cherished on this special day.

The fact is a Mother loves right from the start.
She holds her baby close to her heart.
The bond that grows will never alter.

A Mother gives never ending love.
She never feels that she has given enough.
For she will always do her best.
Constantly working, there’s no time to rest.

A Mother is there when things go wrong.
A hug and a kiss to help us along.
Always there when we need her near.
Gently wipe our eyes when we shed a tear.

So on this day shower your Mother with Love.
Gifts and presents are nice but that is not enough.
Give your Mother a day to have some peace of mind.
Be gentle, be good, be helpful, be kind, and above all cherish her beyond belief.

It is also a fact that Mother’s Day is difficult for some. For those who have lost their mother. For those who’ve lost a child. For those who long to be a mom. Please know that you are loved and remembered this Mother’s Day. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

– The Father’s Club


By Mike Rothwell, Board Member/Director of Community Partners for Father’s Club

KC RelaysThe Father’s Club is honored to be involved in the 2022 KC Relays Track Meet. We have a huge opportunity to impact the kids in our region by #ShowingUp and supporting the student athletes in this huge, area-wide event.

The KC Relays is a premier track and field event in the Kansas City Metro. The Father’s Club has stepped up to help secure volunteers for this amazing event. We have over 1,400 dads in the Kansas City Metro that are eager to be intentional in the lives of our kids. Here is a simple way to do just that.

Over 18 area high schools will be competing and they cannot pull off this event without volunteers from The Father’s Club.

When: April 15, 2022 at 12:30pm

Where: Blue Valley Northwest High School



KC RelaysThe event begins at 12:30pm on Friday April 15, 2022. So file your taxes in the morning. Play hooky from work, and #ShowUp for a 3-hour time slot to support all the kids in our community. It’s that simple.

We need over 70 volunteers to pull this off. You’ve Got This!!!



2021 Blue Valley West Concession StandBy Clay Norkey, Blue Valley West Chapter Chair for Father’s Club

Popcorn, pizza, nachos, Chick-Fil-A, and a brand-new, on-campus stadium! This fall, Blue Valley West officially took over all concessions for home football games, and in the process grew its membership and raised serious funds.

The Jaguar Dads run the whole show –– menu, purchasing, staffing, and retaining all profits.

With a strong core group and generous one- and two-time volunteers, these dads turned regular concessions into a fun and energetic hub of activity. Students show up every game and get hooked! And whether it’s Skittles or hot chocolate, the fans love the positive attitude, dad jokes, access to great drinks and snacks.

Along the way, West’s chapter has partnered with DECA to help track inventory; the BVW Marching Band, providing snacks and drinks after their halftime show; the dance team and the cross-country team, who both provided visitor-side staffing; the PTO, to partner on mental-health focused grants; and the official, providing snacks and PowerAdes. Plus, the group built even stronger relationships with the school’s new Athletic Director (Kevin Simmerman) and new Principal (Katie Bonnema).

2021 Blue Valley West Concession Stand 2021 Blue Valley West Concession Stand

Concessions paid for AP Testing and a Sources of Strength podcast!

At the end of the season, which involved five and a half games (four regular home games, one visitor-side concessions for a BV Southwest home game upon their PTO’s request, and one state playoff game), the BVW chapter will have well over $10,000 in the bank. And it has big plans! It has already paid for the AP testing for low-income students and agreed to cover the cost of a Sources of Strength podcast. Next, BVW Father’s Club will finance grants for mental-health initiatives, fund our Dads in the Morning fist-bump giveaways, and pour it all back into the students and school.

The chapter is led by Clay Norkey and co-chaired by Erik Edwards. Kevin Saylan and Tony Roman helped lead the concessions effort. And dozens of dads slung hot dogs, sweets, and Coke products for the kids.

For more information about the Blue Valley West Father’s Club, please contact Clay at clay.norkey@fathersclub.org for more information.

2021 Blue Valley West Concession Stand 2021 Blue Valley West Concession Stand

By Mike Rothwell, Board Member/Director of Community Partners for Father’s Club

#GoTheDistanceBack in 2019, I was walking the halls of the high school as a dad who reluctantly signed up to volunteer as a hall monitor during the lunch hour. They assigned me to the senior hall. It was one of the more intimidating experiences of recent memory. Why was I nervous? I was a grown man, with a family, and a respectable job. Surely monitoring the halls of the high school would be easy.

Well, all the self-talk did not work.

I was anxious and fearful of the students for some odd reason. I was asked to monitor a door that led to the parking lot and given strict instructions to make sure no one left the building that was not on a pre-approved list. I manned my guard post at the door. Kids began to congregate in the hallways. I tried to be cool but obviously that was not happening. Then a young man sat down near the door. I was sure he was trying to find the right time when I was not watching and make the great escape from the building. He was all alone and seemed a bit off.

Mental Health

I sat there observing this kid all by himself as I feverishly guarded the exit door. A few minutes went by, and this young man was still alone. No one came to sit with him. He began to eat his lunch and I realized at that moment that he had no interest in escaping. He sat by himself, finished his lunch, and did what every other high school kid does. He pulled out his mobile phone and isolated himself in the never-ending scroll of nothingness. I took a deep breath as I mustered up the courage to speak to this young man. I went in for the approach and simply said, “Hey man, how is it going?” I anticipated the “high school head nod” from the young man and then I would be back to guard my post.

There is power in connecting with another person face to face.

This young man not only said hi to me, but he began to open and share. He wanted to talk. He wanted to be noticed. He wanted someone to care. I had no idea what I was in for. So, I listened as this young man shared his story, his battles, and his road to redemption.

This young man began struggling with addition in middle school. As a freshman, he was in a deep battle and longing to be free. He attended high school in the morning. He would eat lunch each day by himself before his mom would pick him up and take him to outpatient therapy for the rest of his school day. He wanted to get right so he could live right. His hopes were that someday he would lead right. He was on the road to redemption. Like all of us, he was seeking validation. He wanted to know that he had what it takes to win the battle. In that moment, he knew he was not alone. I listened to his story and my heart hurt for this young man.

Every man is a warrior inside.#GoTheDistance

This young man is only one example of why we #GoTheDistance for teenage mental health awareness and suicide prevention. We are all part of his story. We are a community that battles together and lifts a brother up when down. As John Eldredge said, “Every man is a warrior inside. But the choice to fight is his own.” This young man chose to fight.

Are you a warrior on the inside? What are you fighting?

In October, we chose to fight for the teenagers in our community. We walked, biked, and ran on their behalf to raise awareness of the battles they are facing with mental health. We fought to bring robust prevention efforts to eliminate the teenage suicide problem. As we walked, biked, and ran we knew deep down that adults face the same battles. These kids are not alone. We all seek validation and want to truly know that we have what it takes to fight the battles.

#GoTheDistance #GoTheDistance

This year, on October 16th, over 50 men, women and children participated in our first annual #GoTheDistance campaign.

  • We had 3 bikers #gothedistance at all 10 high schools in Olathe and BV!
  • We had 2 walkers #gothedistance for the “Broken Marathon”
  • We had 6 runners #gothedistance at the KC Marathon run 5K, 10K, Half or Full Marathon!
  • We had 35 walkers #gothedistance at 8 schools in Blue Valley and Olathe!
  • We had 5 virtual K participants #gothedistance from all over the country and even Europe including: a 5K runner in Prague, Czech Republic, an 18-mile runner in Pittsburgh, neighborhood walkers in Chicago and Texas.
  • We had financial supporters from the US, Germany, Czech Republic, and N. Ireland

#GoTheDistanceI am so thankful for all your challenging work and dedication to making this campaign a big first year success. Together, we raised over $9,000 that will be contributed 100% towards prevention efforts in the mental battle our teenagers are facing.

If you feel led to support the 2021 #GoTheDistance Team, you can make a tax deductible donation HERE.

Mark your calendars now, for October 15, 2022. That is the day we will #GoTheDistance again for the teenagers in our community.

Well Done!

Peace, Grace, and Love,
Soccer Mom

#GoTheDistance #GoTheDistance


START Banner

In 2019, The Father’s Club was honored and privileged to meet the impactful women in our community who joined together to tackle the issues with technology. This amazing group of leaders created START (Stand Together and Rethink Technology). We want to share with you a little about their story, the journey they’re on, and some hard truths we all need to hear.


START DefinedToday’s parents have many resources to help them prepare to raise a child, but there’s one book that doesn’t yet exist: What to Expect when you’re (Tech)xpecting! The truth is, we are the first generation of parents pondering questions like. “How much screen time is too much? How should I feel about Fortnite? When do I get my child a phone? How should I prepare them for social media?”

We get it—a few years back, we began asking the same questions for our own children.

So, we did what young parents often do, and began seeking advice from parents in the season just ahead of us. But as we begged them to share wisdom, we noticed a hopelessness in their responses. Their voices would get soft, their faces would drop, and their eyes would dim as they shared: “I don’t know what advice to give, but need to do something different than I’ve done.” And they would often share very personal stories about the way screens were impacting their children’s lives.


Technology has the power to uplift and improve our humanity—but it’s critical that we create new cultural norms of digital health if we want our kids to flourish. START seeks to help families and communities across America pursue digital health in order to reduce loneliness, depression, anxiety, and suicide in a socially isolated society. Please join us in pursuing our mission–a world where kids stay captivated by life, not screens.


Recently, START shared a BLOG titled “5 Ways to Help Kids Manage Social Media Pressure.” We can all relate to that title. Please take a moment and read this amazing BLOG from our friends at START.

In this video, Brad Holdhusen recognizes Tom Herzog as the 2021 Shovel Award recipient. Brad asked Tom to share why he deserved the shovel award this year. :)

Adapt and pivot. We were constantly trying to find a way. The things that we normally do weren’t available. From cleaning up things around the school to the Operation Family Feast food drive. This allowed us to put our energy and hearts towards good works for Shelter KC and families in need. The shovel award means I’ve got more work to do.
Tom Herzog

Our friends at Midwest Engravers created the award (as you can see, it’s amazing.) This will be an annual awards for service above and beyond. In true Herzog fashion, he spread the credit for all the people that come together to make incredible things happen. Including bringing some of his crazy ideas to fruition.

We appreciate all of Tom’s service in the Blue Valley community and on the board of Father’s Club. Congratulations Tom!

Have you ever had a moment that seemed to be “random” but you knew it was much bigger? Olathe East Chapter Chair, Ryan Kapple, had such a moment a couple of weeks ago.

As he shared the vision at the 1st Annual Olathe East Father’s Club Golf Tournament, he shouted – “NO MORE SUICIDES!”

A guy not involved in our tournament walked by and heard the story. Over five hours later (yes, Kapple loses so many golf balls it takes him 5 hours to play) he tracked him down. He shared that he was personally touched by a teen who recently tried to take their own life, but thank God the attempt failed. He also told Ryan that he had 6 months to live and now he knows the group to support as he goes on his last Harley Ride out West before he goes to heaven.

We’re honored to share a little part of the story with you as we join Chuck on this glorious last ride.

Chuck's Last Ride Chuck's Last Ride

Why Chuck’s Last Ride?

“September 2015 I was diagnosed with colon cancer. I had basically complete blockage from a mass, within days of diagnosis, 18 inches of my colon and 8 or so inches of my small intestine were removed. From this point the battle was on! I made the conscious decision to face this with an upbeat, positive attitude. I would not let cancer control my life or affect the life of my family.

I worked for 3 straight years while undergoing several different chemo and radiation procedures. During this time the cancer decided to use my body as a playground and move to my liver and now to my lungs. Thanks to the wonderful people I worked for, they enabled me to walk away from work and live whatever life I had remaining. I’ve undergone 9 microwave ablations, 90 radiation procedures, developed radiation sickness which almost destroyed my liver and so many other chemo and trials that I’ve lost count.

Needless to say, 6 years have gone by and the numbers are starting to climb. We’re having a hard time bringing them back down. Basically my time on this earth is starting to come to a close, which I’m totally comfortable with because I’ve had a wonderful 6 years with family and friends. We’ve shared laughs, cries, enjoyed crossing off a few really cool bucket list items. I have no complaints. Now it’s time for one last ride.”

Chuck's Last Ride Chuck's Last Ride

I was planning a solo ride to just get out and clear my head, see some places I have never been, and possibly clear any demons I had in the closet. But approximately 3 months ago my world was rocked to the fabric of my soul. I was personally impacted by a 14 year old young man who tried to take his life with a butcher knife. He almost bled out but thankfully he survived and is alive today. Since that day I have been determined to help put a stop to teen suicide.

This last ride now has a powerful purpose, to educate, raise awareness and some funding to provide services needed to help parents recognize warning signs, provide counseling for these youth and their families as needed. Also to help families who tragically weren’t able to prevent this from happening.

I’ve partnered with a group called Father’s Club. A grass roots organization of fathers determined to help our youth. To learn more about the Father’s Club please visit them on the web. To make a tax deductible donation to Chuck’s Last Ride please click HERE.  You can follow my journey on Facebook.  I look forward to sharing my journey with you and bringing awareness to the mental health needs of youth in our country.

My kick stand is going up on the 14th of August, I will post daily updates of my route, some videos, pictures, and some words of inspiration. Please join me, together we can pull these young men and woman out of the dark places, shine a little light, let them know they are loved and remove the thought that suicide is there only option.

Beeeee Ezzzzzy.”

– Chuck Smith

Support Chuck’s Last Ride

Donate to Chuck's Last RidePlease consider supporting Chuck’s Last Ride and your tax deductible gift supports mental health awareness/certification. Thanks for giving to this cause as Chuck Smith’s last chance to leave a lasting legacy.

On The Journey Together.
Father’s Club

Link to Johnny Dare and Chuck’s Radio Interview


Chuck's Last Ride