KCK puts best foot forward at annual event in wake of Sunday’s mass shooting

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Hundreds gathered Tuesday at Children's Mercy Park to celebrate "The Best of KCK."

The KCK Chamber of Commerce event was held just two days after the nation saw it at its worst when nine people were shot and four people killed.

"We know that recently here in KCK our community has had a tragic violent incident," Msgr. Stuart Swetland told community leaders.

They prayed for the victims of the mass shooting at Tequila KC and for blessing for the other businesses that might be affected.

"We do offer our condolences to all our businesses on Central Avenue. It's an important corridor in KCK; it's a thriving corridor. It`s just unfortunate the events that took place a few days ago," said Daniel Silva, president and CEO of the KCK Chamber of Commerce.

While everyone offers their condolences, it's easy to see how people like Artie Scholes could worry what the shooting means for his business. He owns the 403 Club, a Strawberry Hill bar popular among pinball players.

He said he and other bar owners have worked hard to change the perception things are "rougher" on the Kansas side of the state line.

"These are all just good spots where you can hang out and have a good time with your friends, and when something like that happens, so close by, it just makes us have to work that much harder to keep that stigma from affecting us," Scholes said.

Edgar Galicia led Monday night's march down Central Avenue, remembering the victims. On Tuesday he was speaking with civic and community leaders, making sure they remember those area businesses.

"It`s absolutely outstanding how the community is supporting us with so many phone calls asking what can I do," Galicia said.

"As sad as it to say a tragedy has spurred this movement, it's going to create more community in the area with all of us just banding together," Scholes said.

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