Popular peace poles from Lenexa art project to be auctioned off this Friday

To continue the message of peace and kindness in Lenexa, two local rotary clubs are hosting an auction for the specially decorative peace poles displayed at Sar-Ko-Par Trails Park this year.

Proceeds from the Lenexa Peace Pole Community Art Project Auction go toward Project 1020, a cold-weather shelter that opens in a few weeks for overnight protection this winter at Shawnee Mission Unitarian Universalist Church.

The peace poles arrived from Sar-Ko-Par Trails Park to be temporarily displayed at Lenexa City Hall until the live auction Friday. Photo courtesy city of Lenexa.

The Rotary Club of Western Johnson County and the Lenexa Rotary Club are co-hosting the auction in collaboration with the city of Lenexa and the Lenexa Arts Council. The 39 peace poles in the auction were decorated by dozens of community members and placed on exhibit this summer at Sar-Ko-Par Trails Park for the public to enjoy.

The online auction began this week, while the live auction takes place Friday. Click here for more details.

Lenet Compton, a Lenexa Rotary Club member and one of the committee members coordinating the auction to bring peace awareness, said this auction as well as the peace pole project are the first of its kind for their clubs. And so far, it has gone better than she imagined.

Proceeds benefit Project 1020, a cold-weather shelter in Lenexa. Above, Teri Lynn Vincent jokes a lot over dinner at Project 1020 last winter. File photo.

“The original ask to the city was to have one peace pole that the two Rotary clubs donated as a permanent art installation,” Compton said. “At the time, Gary Ristow was the director of parks and rec, and he and Susanne Neely were instrumental in broadening our thought horizons.”

In coordinating with the city, the arts council and the Rotary clubs, the idea “kept blossoming from there,” Compton added.

“It’s all been an incredible, wonderful experience, and it’s been so well received by the community,” she said.

When keeping with the Rotary clubs’ overall goals of promoting peace and kindness, Project 1020 seemed like the natural fit as beneficiary of the auction, Compton said.

“It’s right here in Lenexa, and this is a big deal for our town,” she said. “The ordinance hadn’t allowed for it, and I applaud the city for listening and being receptive to real needs.”