SM West Newsletter

Issue #7 Friday, Sept 22, 2023


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Please call the attendance hotline to report absences for your student. If you are planning to pick your student up from school, please allow 30 minutes for your call to be processed and for a pass to be delivered.


Please leave the name of your student and spell the last name. State the time in which you will pick up your student and the reason for the absence. Thank you for your patience and cooperation.

Important Reminder - Attendance Matters

The first class of the day STARTS promptly at 7:40am. Students are welcome to arrive after 7am and breakfast is served starting at 7:15am.

We need EVERYONE'S cooperation to be here on time.

Students who understand the value of punctuality and attend school on time, get better grades and enjoy a greater sense of well-being and confidence

The school day ends at 2:40pm. Students should be off campus after 3:00pm unless they are under the direct supervision of a coach or sponsor.

Regular attendance is vital for student success.

• Your children can suffer academically if they miss 10 percent of the school year or about 18 days. That can be just one day every two weeks, and that can happen before you know it.

• Some absences are unavoidable. We understand that children will get sick and need to stay home occasionally. The important thing is to get your children to school as often as possible. • Sporadic absences, not just those on consecutive days of school, matter. Before you know it – just one or two days a month can add up to nearly 10 percent of the school year.

• If too many absences occur, it is still a problem whether they are excused or unexcused because they represent too much lost learning time in the classroom.

We appreciate our students, parents, staff and community helping to prioritize the importance of coming to school and then making sure to arrive on time to each class throughout the day.

Thank you.

Staff Directory

Please use this link to access the Staff Directory on our Webpage.


SM West Calendar

Please use this link for our SM West Calendar.


Athletic Webpage

Please use this link to access the SM West Athletic Webpage.

West Athletic Page

For the most up to date athletic schedule please use the Sunflower League page.

Sunflower League Webpage

Bell Schedule

Below is an image of our SM West weekly bell schedule.

Our Late Start Thursdays will not begin until Sept. 14th. This is the updated schedule that reflects this late start Thursdays.

Occasionally, throughout the year, there might be changes in our bell schedule. Days in which we host pep assemblies will have a different schedule as well as during Finals.

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West Reads

SM West is so very excited to share with our community our West Reads selections.

Each week a different student that might represent one of our clubs/organizations/teams here at West is asked to choose a children's book to read aloud and be recorded. The recording is shared with our elementary feeder schools. This is such a great way to showcase some of the amazing leaders we have in our community and I know the elementary students love seeing the high schoolers sharing literature with them.

We hope you enjoy these editions and will forward to future editions.

This week we are highlighting SMW Pep Club! Aryanna Vila read “If you Give a Cat a Cupcake” by Laura Numeroff. Here is the video!

SAIL Tutoring Each Wednesday and Thursday after school

Starting Wednesday, September 27th, SAIL Tutoring Program.

Who: Open to all students.

What: SAIL Tutoring is an after school tutoring program for all students.

When: Wednesdays and Thursdays from 2:50-4:20pm (see Calendar below)

Where: The Cafeteria

Why: Providing space, time and adult support to catch up on work and support learning.

Additional Information: A meal is provided and there is a late bus after tutoring that will run along 87th Street only. Students must have a pass to get on the bus.

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Student Services News

West Parents and Guardians: The Student Services Center has a resource page for you! If you have concerns about your students mental/emotional health, how to help with the college application process, or questions about scholarship and financial aid, please visit and scroll down the page to the Parent Guardian Resources button.

ACT PowerPrep

Shawnee Mission West students are able to attend an ACT test prep class through PowerPrep on Friday, October 13th at Shawnee Mission West. The cost is $65.

Register here


Scholarships are now available to West Seniors! This list is updated throughout the school year, and we recommend students check it on a regular basis.

West students also have access to this link through the Student Services Canvas page.

If you have any questions, please contact Miss Allen, the College Adviser, at

Step-by-Step Through the FAFSA

Sponsored by the Johnson County Public Library

Tuesday, Sept. 26 • 6:30-8 p.m.

Meeting Location: Zoom

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is the federal application necessary to get free and low-cost money for college. Join Jason Anderson,
CPA, CFP®, Managing Member and Senior Consultant
at Gradmetrics, as he walks line-by-line through the FAFSA form and explains the ins-and-outs of the college admissions and financial aid process. Registration is required for this program. Please register at or call 913-826-4600.

COLLEGE VISITS: Sign up in Student Services w/Ms. Allen, College Adviser

We have several college admissions representatives who come to our high school in person to share information about their college. This link will lead you to a spreadsheet where new schools are signing up daily. Please consider signing up in Student Services to get a pass during seminar for these visits.

  • TUESDAY, SEPT 26th – Pittsburg State University & Donnelly College

  • THURSDAY, SEPT 28th – Wichita State University

We are looking forward to helping you navigate your future plans!

Presidential Service Awards: Students have until the end of March to record their volunteer time. Please have your student come to student services if they need a log or information about the service categories. Call Mrs. Holmes with questions (993-7832)

This is not a required activity.


To Junior and Senior Students,

We have an upcoming chance for you to gain Real World Learning experiences and explore job shadows and internships offered by businesses in our community.

The Shawnee Mission School District is hosting a Career and College Expo for you! The event will be Friday, September 29, 2023 at the Center for Academic Achievement at 8200 W. 71stStreet, Overland Park, KS 66204. There will be two sessions:

Session 1: 9:00 - 10:30 (bus leaves @ 9:00 am)

Session 2: 10:10 - 11:30 am (bus leaves 10:10am)

You can also visit with college representatives from schools that were at Scholarship Shawnee Mission just days before the expo.

Bus transportation will be provided and required because of limited parking at the CAA. Sign up using the link below You must use your district laptop and student email to access the sign-up link.

Student Sign-up LINK (no parental access)

We recommend students wear business casual attire (slacks, collared shirts, skirts, dresses) and bring a resume if you have one, although this is not required for participation.

Through internships, you have the opportunity to earn a Market-Value Asset (MVA). This is a part of Shawnee Mission’s Real World Learning efforts and the goal that by 2030 every Shawnee Mission student will earn an MVA by the time they graduate.

If you have any questions, please contact your Real World Learning counselor at your student’s school:

Tommie Davis, SM West


Dr. Ryan Flurry, Principal of Career Education Campuses and Coordinator of Career & Technical Education

Laura Harsch, Business to Education Program Officer
Shawnee Mission Education Foundation

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Oct. 11th - National Testing Day

On Wednesday, October 11, 2023, your student(s) in grades 10, 11, and 12 will have several different opportunities for learning. We need your help to complete this OCTOBER 11th FORM so we know where your student will be that day. Please submit your responses by Sunday, October 1, 2023 by 11:59 pm.

All Freshmen and those not using the other opportunities available will follow a normal 1-7 period day - but with shortened blocks. (Schedule coming soon).

All students will be dismissed at 1:10pm.

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Class Ring Order Information - Displays and information on the bridge this week.

mportant!! Class ring week in our school will be this week. Here is what you need to know…

  • While usually a sophomore event, Covid has set us back a couple of years and we want to make sure juniors and seniors also have a chance to order their rings.

  • Please watch the short video below, introducing the process and giving you important due dates.

This is a great tradition and a fun week at our school. If you have any questions or need anything, please contact our Jostens partner ( / 785-843-2967).

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Senior Viking

Preparations for Senior Viking Pageant are going strong.

We are excited to announce this year's Senior Viking candidates. Senior Viking will be held Saturday, October 21. Candidates will fundraise leading up to Senior Viking and participate in a fun, pageant-style competition. All funds go towards Senior Sizzle, a celebration for graduating seniors.

This year's candidates are:

Bryce Bean

Alvin Gonzalez

Harrison Holt

Ryder Kirby

Jace Morales

Watson Porter

Nick van Deventer

Nathan Phillips

Kortez Washington

Noah Winans

Please take some time to view the images below to see how you can help support Senior Viking and Senior Sizzle.

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Take a look at our JAG-K newsletter!!!!!

Kansas Teacher of the Year West Nominee

SM West is proud to nominate one of our finest teachers for Kansas Teacher of the Year.... Dylan Carter.
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Shawnee Mission West Yard Signs and Riders!

Orders are due by October 6th.

Click the link to order yours now!

PTSA Spirit Wear -

Did you know we use funds raised from our Spirit Wear to fund great programs like SMW Teacher Grants and Scholarships?

You can help by looking great in our Viking Colors while supporting a great cause!

Orders are due by September 24th.

Click the link to order yours now!

Join PTSA for our next meeting on November 6th at 6:30 PM.

Libby Davis will share about her son, Cooper, and provide eye-opening education for parents and students about the dangers of Fentanyl and fake pills.

This will be one PTSA meeting you won't want to miss!

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Feliz Independencia/Happy Independence Day & it is also the start Hispanic Heritage Month

Sept 15th and 16th mark Independence Day for much of Central America and Mexico.

These days are filled with parades, celebrations, and lots of (loud) fireworks.

Here is a list of ways to celebrate here in the KC Metro.

Here are some ways these countries celebrate their independence:


El Salvador



… and many more

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Unified Basketball

Our Unified sport could use some support. It is special educaiton students playing with the help of their friends. We need friends. First up is basketball. Practice dates and competitions are on the flier. Please see room 107 for questions or more detials. There is also bowling. Spring will host soccer and bocce. Participating is a great community service and does count for NHS volunteer hours as well. Plus... it's just a lot of fun.
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District Performing Arts Newsletter

Below is the link to the SMSD Performing Arts newsletter to kick off the school year. We are so glad to celebrate our teachers and students.

September 2023 Performing Arts Newsletter

Free FAFSA event hosted by Johnson County Library

I wanted to let you know about an upcoming program at the library, Step by Step through the FAFSA, on September 26, 2023 from 6:30 pm until 8:00 pm. The program will be online and is completely free. Here’s a little information about the program:

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is the federal application necessary to get free and low-cost money for college. Join Jason Anderson, CPA, CFP®, Managing Member and Senior Consultant at Gradmetrics, as he walks line-by-line through the FAFSA form and explains the ins-and-outs of the college admissions and financial aid process.

This program will be hosted using the meeting software Zoom. A Johnson County Library staff member will contact registrants via email the day before the meeting with instructions on how to access the Zoom meeting. You do not need to download any software or create an account.

For inquiries about accessibility and accommodations, please contact us at or 913-826-4600 at least two weeks before the event.

I’ve attached a pdf of our other Career and Finance focused library programs this fall.

To register for the FAFSA program, click here.

See flier below as well as a PDF.

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Note about Dismissal Procedures and Reminder about Student Parking

Please help us keep our school dismissal safe.

Our school busses line up along the circle drive in the front of the building and leave approximately 7 minutes after the 2:40 bell rings.

For the safety of all our students, we would ask that parents that are driving to pick up their students plan to arrive after the busses leave the premises. Cars lining up on 87th street waiting to enter the front driveway does not created a safe situation.

Thank you for your support in telling your students that you will pick them up after the busses leave the circle.

REMINDER: ALL students who park in the WEST student parking lot need to have purchased a parking sticker and that sticker should be placed on their car. Students should make sure that they are parking only in the designated student parking areas and not staff parking.

Please refer to the information below.

Parking Permits

Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors are able to park on campus at SM West. A parking permit must be purchased and a parking sticker picked up from our Security personnel in the front entrance.

Parking is $50 for the year.

It is extremely important that students only park in assigned areas for students, and not staff parking. Tickets will be assessed by our security staff. All rules and regulations are listed with the parking application. See the PDF below.

Also included is a map of West parking.

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Viking Pageant - Time Honored Tradition at SM West

Hey Vikings!

Who will be crowned Senior Viking 2024 on October 21? It is time to find out! Our Senior Viking candidates compete in a fun event where they tell their favorite Dad jokes, answer interview questions, and showcase their talents. Best of all, they get to raise funds, along with their chosen escort, to support Senior Sizzle, a safe celebration for all graduating seniors. Would you like to be a Senior Viking candidate? Applications are out now and due September 8.

Senior Yearbook Tribute Ads

Inter-State studios has already taken photos of our seniors for the senior class yearbook pages (Make Up on Oct. 30th).

This opportunity is for your family to purchase ad space for a tribute to your senior. The yearbook staff works with clients to create an individualized layouts for interested senior families. Families could purchase 1/4, 1/2, or full page ads.

Please view the pdf below for instructions on how to purchase an ad in the yearbook for your senior.
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Suicide Prevention and Awareness

September 10-16 is National Suicide Prevention and Awareness Week. This week is a time for each of us to renew our focus on suicide prevention, and to ensure we are taking care of ourselves & others. Please encourage conversations and spread awareness as we continue to care for SMSD students, families, schools and communities. For more information about Suicide Prevention Month, Week or World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10, please visit this site.

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From our SM West Nurse


I wanted to share a “refresher” on Covid Guidelines for everyone as we head into this fall. These are also guidelines that apply to Influenza A & B.

  • Day 0: the 1st day of symptoms or test positive day
  • Counting from Day 0--a person is then out of school for 5 days.
  • Day 6—may return to school if no ongoing symptoms and no fever in the previous 24 hours.
  • Day 6-10—highly recommended and encouraged to mask.
  • Students do not need to stay home for exposure to Covid—only if they have symptoms or test positive.

For more information you can refer to the following link:

Questions: call 913-993-7960

Kim Tennissen, RN, FNP-BC

Shawnee Mission West Nurse

8800 West 85th Street

Overland Park, KS 66212

Phone: 913-993-7816

Fax: 913-993-1483

PTSA Reflections Contest

Each year the National PTSA organization sponsors a Reflections Contest to highlight the many talents that students have in multiple areas.

2023-24 PTSA Reflections Call For Entries

This year’s theme is: I am Hopeful Because….

Dance Choreography

Video file must not exceed 5 minutes in length and 1,000 MB (1,000 megabyte) in file size and be in MP4 or AVI format.

Film Production

Video file must not exceed 5 minutes in length and 1,000 MB (1,000 megabyte) in file size and be in MP4 or AVI format.


Writing must not exceed 2,000 words and may be handwritten or typed. Accepted formats: Single-sided print on 8 1⁄2x11” paper, PDF file.

Music Composition

Audio recording must not exceed 5 minutes in length and 1,000 MB (1,000 megabyte) in file size. Accepted audio file formats include: MP3 and WAV. Notation (score/tablature) in PDF format is required.


Print image dimensions must be no smaller than 3x5 inches and no larger than 8x10 inches. Digital image dimensions must be at least 640x960 (pixels) and 300 dpi (resolution). Accepted file formats: JPEG, JPG, and PNG.

Visual Arts

Works of both fine and design arts are accepted, including but not limited to: architectural drawing and models, ceramics, collage, computer generated images and graphics, crafts, drawing, fashion clothes.

Entries are due on October 16. To receive an entry form or request more information regarding the categories email:

Our Nurse's office needs your help

Please use the link below to sign up to donates items for our nurse's pantry.

Thank you so very much for your help.

Parents, don’t forget to join the Shawnee Mission West Booster Club and purchase your Season Passes. Use your Season Pass to get into all Shawnee Mission West regular season home football, soccer, basketball and volleyball games while supporting all West athletes, cheer and dance teams.

Use this Link for the Go. Fan page:

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Picture Days

Picture Days:

All students have had the opportunity to have a photo. Students will have one more opportunity for a yearbook photo:

Oct. 30 Last Chance Retakes

If a student did not take a picture for an ID card, those can be taken in the Student Services office.

If a student loses their ID, replacements can be paid for in the bookkeeping office ($5) and then take their receipt to the Student Services office.


If your student is involved in choir or is interested in being a part of our Thespian troupe, then you will be interested in joining Spotlighters. We have amazing talent here at West, and this organization of parents and family members does all things to support their performances and all their efforts.

It’s time to renew your Spotlighters membership for 2023-2024. We’re looking forward to another great year of performing arts at Shawnee Mission West!

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Bookkeeping News


We strongly encourage and recommend our patrons pay fees online. Below is the link to pay for fees:

Our office will be able to take walk-in payments during our normal business hours.

PDF's are linked below for an explanation of fees (English and Spanish version) please make sure that all your fees are getting paid now.

You can set up an account or pay as a guest using the student's ID number. There is a $3.00 fee to pay on line. Or you can call us and pay over the phone, send a check or pay in person without paying a fee

  • Families that qualify for free and reduced lunch can get a waiver for part of the school fees by showing a copy of the Food Services letter to the Bookkeeper.
  • You can request a payment plan with the bookkeeper, Cristina Seyler at (913)993-7810 or emailing Cristina at .

Thank you.

Cristina Seyler

SM WEST HS Bookkeeper

8800 W 85th Street

Overland Park, KS 66212


MacBook/IT - Important

Many of our students were able to pick up their MacBooks during our Early MacBook Rollout.' If you received your device on July 25th, then please make sure to set Chrome as your default browser. Here is a link for instructions:

Please make a diligent choice to take care of your MacBook each and everyday.

  • Cracked Screens
    • The screens to the new devices are very delicate. Please remind students not to pick up the device by the screen and do not close the device with something in it.
  • Tech Resource Page

ICT Updates

We want to remind you of a few things now that we are back in the swing of the school year:

  1. Your MacBook must have the district issued case on it at all times. (Failure to have the cover in place will result in confiscation of the MacBook.)

  2. Please only carry your MacBook with the screen shut and with both hands to keep the machine secure.

  3. Do not ever pick up the MacBook by the screen. The LCD is very sensitive and the pressure of your grip will break the screen.

  4. Keyboard covers should not be used since non-Apple keyboard covers might be too large and can put pressure on the screens and cause damage.

  5. Please don’t leave your MacBook in a car overnight.

  6. Needed programs can be found on Manager. You will not be able to download programs from the App Store for use on these devices.

  7. Downloading VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) or other programs that mask your device on the network are a violation of the Responsible Use Policy you have agreed to. Use of these will result in the confiscation of the MacBook and you may MacBook access for the semester/school year for consistent violations.

  8. Due to the MacBook refresh this summer and the cost of the new hardware, the replacement device cost has gone up. Although, the charger cost has dropped. The incident fees have stayed the same (fees reset in high school).

    1. 1st Incident/Damaged Device fee: $100.00

    2. 2nd Incident/Damaged Device fee: $150.00

    3. 3rd and Subsequent Incident/Damage Device fee: Actual cost of repair/replacement or $300.00 whichever is greater.

    4. Apple MacBook Air M1 USB-C Cable Replacement - $19

    5. Apple MacBook Air M1 Charger Replacement - $39

    6. Apple MacBook Air M1 Adapter Set Replacement - $58

    7. Apple MacBook Air M1 Replacement/Lost Device fee - $1,117.95

  9. If you ever need help or support with your device, please review our Tech Rescue Page ( If you are still experiencing issues, then you can submit a Web Help Desk Ticket (

Please reach out if there are any questions or issues. We do work with students and families through this process.

Below you will find some helpful images to assist with Skyward and Canvas.

Message from Food Service

Students are able to purchase breakfast and lunch prepared by our food service staff. Students may also bring sack lunches from home.

SM West does not allow for Door Dash deliveries or for fast food to be delivered to students during the school day.

ONLY SENIORS are allowed to leave campus for lunch - WITH Parent Permission. More information about this privilege will be communicated to seniors soon, but will not begin until potentially after Labor Day.

2023-24 - Child Nutrition Program Meal Benefit Application

Families are encouraged to complete an application for meal benefits – free or reduced priced meals – as part of the Online Verification. The link to the Child Nutrition Program Meal Benefit Application is available on Skyward or the online application is on School Cafe. Families do need to create a School Cafe account if they do not already have one - more information may be located on the SMSD Food Service Free and Reduced web page. Contact the Food Service office by calling 913-993-9710 for questions on the meal benefit application.

Potential Benefits of Filling out the Application

Families, whose meal benefit application is approved for meal benefits, can receive a breakfast and lunch at the free or reduced price – depending on their qualifying benefit.

Families who complete an application and qualify also generate additional state funds for our schools.

Families who qualify for child nutrition meal benefits, may receive additional benefits such as free/reduced instructional resource fees, transportation fees, and Pre-k enrollment.

Consent for Disclosure and Eligibility

Families are encouraged to complete a Consent for Disclosure form inSkyward which gives SMSD Food Service permission to share a child’s eligibility status information with the programs families designate on the consent form.

Families who are receiving certain types of state assistance, a meal benefit application may not be necessary. If a family is directly certified for meal benefits due to state assistance, Food Service will email a notification of eligibility. If you receive state assistance and have not received a notification of eligibility, call the SMSD Food Service officebefore completing a meal program application.

Families who are directly certified are encouraged to complete a Consent for Disclosure form in Skyward which gives SMSD Food Service permission to share a child’s eligibility status information with the programs families designate on the consent form.​​​​​​​

Thank you.

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Transportation Update

ALL Students must be registered with DS Bus Lines in order to ride the bus.

Please note the following important information for 2023-24 busing:

  • Bus registration may be found at the following link: DS Bus Lines registration
  • 2023-24 bus fees will remain the same as the prior year.
    • $185/semester/student or $370/year/student
  • Any student attending their home school and living 2.5 miles or more from the school qualifies for free busing. Registration is required.
  • Students who qualify for the Child Nutrition Meal Benefits – free and reduced priced meals may also qualify for free transportation, and enroll to ride existing routes. When registering, please provide a copy of the Child Nutrition Meal Benefits Eligibility letter to DS Bus Lines to complete the enrollment process. SMSD families can apply for Child Nutrition Meal Benefits after July 1st on School Café -
  • Transportation changes put in effect during the 2022-23 school year will remain in effect for the 2023-24 school year. This includes limiting high school routes to students residing over 2.0 miles from their school.
  • Bus routes and stop locations will be determined based on those who register for busing. A minimum number of registrations (50 paid) is required in order to offer a route.
  • Annual transportation registration is required for students to receive bus service.

For more information on Shawnee Mission School District transportation, please visit or call DS Bus Lines at 913-384-1190.

In the event there are times throughout the year when routes are running late and

notification is needed at the school and family level, we want to encourage you to sign up for Textcaster notifications. We have previously pushed a number of communications about this to families via school newsletters (with your assistance) as well as through district communications reminding of the availability to sign up for text notifications when routes are running late or compressed with other buses. We encourage you to also sign up to receive text notifications as it is the fastest way to provide notice of any changes.

Sign up for notifications at the following link: where you can select the route numbers pertaining to your school (you may select multiple bus routes). Additionally, we will do our best to provide you with updates as we receive them.


The PTSA (Parent-Teacher-Student-Association) is an important support system for our students and staff. Please consider becoming a member of our PTSA. Dues go to support senior scholarships, teacher grants for instructional support in the classroom, teacher appreciation and much more.

Thank you to our PTSA for all of the wonderful things you have been able to provide for our staff and our students.

PTSA Officers for 2022-2023 academic year:

Presidents - Erin VanDyke and Jean Baucom

Past President - Sean Campion

Membership - Michelle Morales

Secretary - Christina Middleton

Programs - Gwyn Dill

Treasurer - Darci Robinson

Ways & Means - Angie Gunion

Please view the attachment below so that you and your family can become members.

Thank you for your support.

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