No meets for the next two weeks!

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There will not be any meets for the next two weeks, that would be December 28th and January 4th. Check the facebook group for the possibility of impromptu get meets.

Have a good two weeks off, I expect everyone to come back fully rested with awesome new tricks and yoyos!
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No club meet this week (11/23/2011).

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St Theresa's will be closed this week due to the Holiday. Enjoy your long weekend and try to get some good deals out there on Black Friday!
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What's yoing on?

So many people at the club recently have been asking me where I choose to buy my gear. It really depends on what is in stock and where, but for most of my items I generally recommend my good friends John and Julia over at On top of both being great folks, they have an awesome store that opened recently. Taking a look around, the first thing I noticed was "Holy moly, they actually have sought after yoyos IN STOCK!". Just take a look for yourself! The second thing I noticed was their competitive prices. For the rest of the year you can use the code "10%OFF" at checkout to take 10% off their already alarmingly low prices. If that wasn't enough, any orders over $100 get free priority shipping.

I recently ordered a General Yo Entheos from John. I ordered it on a Wednesday, and it was at my house by Friday morning. Talk about fast! They take timely shipping very seriously.

There are numerous other stores around that are great as well, like

and even companies that sell their own products from their websites.

all of which I have purchased from in the past and had fantastic experiences with.

If you want a great price, with a bonus 10% off, free shipping and phenomenal customer service, you can't beat whatsyoingon.
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Duncan's Kansas Mini-Tour video is up!

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If you missed out on the action, or just miss the Duncan guys check out the amazing video that our friend Takeshi put together!

The video put together nicely the environment that these guys create when they're in town. I know everyone here had an awesome time. Thank you Duncan for sending Takeshi, Drew, Hank and Chris out!
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Special Workshop at the club meet this Wednesday!

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This Wednesday we will be working on competition freestyles! I will be bringing a small sound system, so bring your music on an ipod (or other mp3 player) and your freestyle!

We will be starting with the basics of freestyle judging, and moving on to some actual judging of your freestyles! If you are interested in getting into competition, or learning how to judge, this workshop is a must attend!

This is all in preparation for The Iowa State YoYo Contest this Saturday! See you there!

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3 weeks of bigtime yoyo action!

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Just a reminder that starting tomorrow night we have 3 solid weeks of awesome yoyoing activities!

Wednesday 9/14/2011 - 6-8pm Kansas City YoYo Club meet @ St Theresa's
Thursday 9/15/2011 - 5pm Duncan Crew @ US Toy in Leawood
Friday 9/16/2011 - 1-5pm Duncan Crew @ Moon Marble in Bonner Springs
Saturday 9/17/2011 - 10am-1pm Duncan Crew @ The Toy Store in Lawrence
Saturday 9/17/2011 - 2-5pm Duncan Crew @ The Toy Store in Topeka
Wednesday 9/21/2011 - 6-8pm Kansas City YoYo Club meet @ St Theresa's
Starting Friday 9/23/2011 5pm - Sunday 9/25/2011 Kansas City Juggling/YoYo Festival @ Rockhurst High School KC, MO
9/28/2011 - 6-8pm Kansas City YoYo Club meet @ St Theresa's -SPECIAL EVENT-
I will be giving special focus to developing local players freestyle contest performance. I will be available to critique and judge anyone that is interested in competing in the future. If you have any interest in competing, please attend this event to get some practice in!
10/1/2011 - 10am-5pm The Iowa State YoYo Contest @ Colby Park in Windsor Heights, Iowa.

The Duncan Crew stops are very important for our club to make a good showing at! If you have any opportunity to make it, try to stop by and see the guys! Also, if you have facebook, head over to the Duncan fan page and give them our thanks for continuing to promote the hobby in Kansas City!
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Official dates, times and locations for Duncan's Kansas tour!

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This is NEXT WEEK! As usual, I'm expecting a great showing from the Kansas City community. Come out to these retailers and support Duncan YoYos! Show the local stores that WE WANT more YoYo selection in Kansas City! Be there!

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Representing KC: Alexander Bonham-Carter.

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Alex has been coming to the Kansas City club for a little over a year. I came into contact with him through the yoyonation forum, initially struck by his forum name "stillinkansascity". Either he was a local, or he really liked Stillin car parts and Jazz music. Alex was almost immediately an anchor player in the Kansas City scene. He came into the club with very advanced skills, and above that he was ready and willing to teach. Over the past year, Alex has become known for his obscure taste in yoyos, always having something odd and new in his case. He may frequent b/s/t forums more than any other yoyoer I've ever met.

Alex does not just contribute his amazing skills to the club, he also has a very artistic eye. As a professional photographer, his skills really come in handy to us. He served as principle photographer at the Kansas State YoYo Contest 2011, which was much appreciated by all of those involved.

I've decided to go ahead and add player interviews to each profile! Here is my interview with Alex, taken at this past weeks meet.

E: How long have you been yoyoing?
Alex: Well, I started in 98, but have been yoyoing off an on since then. I've really been going hardcore for a little over a year and a half.

E: What is your favorite model of yoyo?
Alex: Definitely the Y-Factor by One Drop.

E: What are your future goals for your yoyo hobby?
Alex: Have fun, throw to enjoy it. I also have a short-term goal to go to Worlds 2012.

E: Aside from yoyoing, what accomplishments have you made?
Alex: I graduated The University of Kansas in 2009 as an english major.

E: Has that translated to your career?
Alex: *laughing* Well, I went to work for Sun Publications as a photographer until they shut down.

E: Who are your biggest yoyo influences?
Alex: Andre Boulay and his site, as well as Gerard from have been huge for me.

E: What yoyoer have you most enjoyed meeting?
Alex: DocPop, no question. I remember watching some of his videos before I got back into yoyoing thinking "How is this possible!?".

E: Final question. Any relation to Helena Bonham-Carter?
Alex: Distant.

I hope everyone is enjoying reading these articles as much as I am enjoying putting them together. Look for our next profile and interview of Kansas City YoYo Godfather and National YoYo Master Rick Wyatt soon!

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Duncan is returning the love to Kansas City.

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That's right. Duncan's coming back to Kansas City for an EXCLUSIVE tour! The inside scoop is that Takeshi Kamisato, Hank Freeman, Drew Tetz and newly crowned World Spintop Champion CHRIS NEFF will be doing demos on the following dates:
Thursday, September 15: US Toy in Leawood, KS
Friday, September 16: Moon Marble in Bonner Springs, KS
Saturday, September 17: The Toy Store in Lawrence, KS & Topeka, KS

These dates are not set in stone, and I have no confirmed times yet, this is mainly to let those interested know to keep these dates open. Make sure to make it to at least one of the stops, you'll enjoy yourself I promise!

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Kansas City Juggling (and YoYo) Festival is on it's way!

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September 23, 24, 25!!!

What is in store for YOU are the festival? Well, Friday the 23rd anyone is welcome to come TOTALLY FREE OF CHARGE! Come work on your Juggling/YoYo/Spintop skills with some of the regions best! Trade tricks and gear and get prepared for the festivities that SATURDAY brings!

On Saturday the festivities continue in the morning and the afternoon, leading to the workshop series in the late afternoon! Workshops for YoYoing, Juggling, Poi, Hula Hooping and Top Spinning will be hosted by some of Kansas Cities finest up and coming enthusiasts.

Saturday afternoon we will also be conducting a revolutionary "Best YoYo Trick Competition"!!! This is not your normal YoYo Contest. Each performer will have 3 throws to impress the judges. If you hit your trick the first time, then there is no need to use your last 2 throws! Bring your best ORIGINAL trick. Judging will be based equally upon technicality, originality, and broad appeal. A top prize will be awarded, as well as the title of Kansas City Juggling Festival YoYo Trick Innovator of 2011!

Admittance into the workshops and contest is included in the $10 charge for entrance into the evening show!

Speaking of the evening show... The Juggling festival culminates on Saturday night with a world class Juggling and Skill Toy exhibition.
  • 2011 World Spintop Champion Chris Neff will be performing!
  • Some sort of YoYo demonstration!
  • Lots of Juggling, including the world famous Marco Paoletti!
  • All that and much, much more for the low price of $10!
We are looking forward to seeing Jugglers, Spin Toppers, Hula Hoopers, Performers and YoYoers (but especially yoyoers!) this September at the Kansas City Juggling Festival!
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Be sure to make it tonight!

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YoYoJam sponsored pros and local yoyoers Rick Wyatt and Ben Conde have told me they will be at the meet tonight! Come try Ben's new signature throw the 'Go Big' 4a yoyo!

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A volunteer opportunity!

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I am currently looking for 5-8 Adult(18+) volunteers to help host a workshop at Children's Mercy Hospital!

We will be doing a yoyo skills workshop for the patients staying at the hospital and their families. I feel this is a great opportunity both for us to win some new YoYo hobbyists and to bring a smile to some kids faces. If you are interested in helping, contact me ( Once I have enough volunteers, we will work out a date to do this!
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Ben was on KCTV5 this morning!

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Way to go Ben! Ben will be appearing on WDAF4 Fox4 tomorrow, I'll be recording that one for upload as well!
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You can YoYo too!

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The Kansas City YoYo Club meets every Wednesday evening from 6-8pm at the Kansas City Theater for Young America on St. Theresa's Academy campus.

5601 Wyandotte Street
Kansas City, MO 64113

All meetings are open to the public. Anyone interested in YoYoing is encouraged to attend!
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Representing KC: Ben Conde.

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This is the first in a series of articles featuring local yoyo players!
I've had the pleasure of knowing Ben and his family since the late 90's. I first met Ben's older brother Andrew at the Wind Wizards YoYo Workshop. Andrew was an awesome kid. Even though he was one of the youngest yoyoers around, he was one of the most respected as well. Eventually, Andrew's talent rubbed off on his younger brother and Ben started yoyoing. I think he was 3 or 4 when we started teaching him some of the basic tricks, but they weren't enough for him.

Even that young I can remember Ben wanting to be ahead of the game. Walking into a yoyo workshop and seeing a 3'4" child practicing 2A is hard to forget. Back then, everyone knew Ben was going places but I don't think any of us knew how far. When I drifted away from the yoyo community, Ben kept chugging away with his yoyo. He was picked up by yoyojam at a very young age (brilliant) and given his first signature series yoyo, the Big Ben. Ben won World championships for his age bracket year after year, before stepping into the big leagues. More on that later.

What impresses me most about Ben (and his entire family for that matter) is that he can excel so much at so many different things. Yes, Ben is a great yoyoer, but he never let that get in the way of his academics. He attended some of the most prestigious schools in the Kansas City area, and did very well. Now, he's heading to college in Chicago this fall to pursue his career dreams.

Before he goes out and starts living the college life though, he shocked the yoyo world and turned it on it's ear regarding 4a (offstring) play. Watch the video, let it sink in, then continue to read the blog.

At the 2011 World YoYo Contest, Ben Conde stole the show. By far the greatest 4a routine ever performed at competition and one of the top 3 overall at that contest in my opinion. In a contest loaded to the gills with talent, Ben came through and gave a truly memorable performance. Unfortunately the judges didn't see it that way. Ben was still able to secure his personal best on the 4a World stage and took 4th place. However, there's not one person that was there or who watched on the live stream that didn't think he took first.

(If you notice the yoyo Ben is using in the routine, it's his new signature series YoYoJam, the Go Big.)

Will Ben be competing at Worlds 2012? I certainly hope so. He brought the flashiest, most difficult, most entertaining routine to the 4a division in 2011, I'm sure he can take it all in 2012.

The Kansas City YoYo Club is proud to count Ben among it's own.

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Change in tonight meeting.

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Why Kansas City loves Duncan.

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I should preface this by specifying that the Kansas City YoYo Club is not affiliated with Duncan YoYos. Anyone that comes to throw yoyos is encouraged to do so with any brand they choose.

I have been saying for about two years now "Without Duncan YoYos, there would be no KC YoYo Club". Some people new to the club might wonder why I give Duncan such great credit and if it is deserved. Now I will take the opportunity and explain myself.

In my post 'So You Want a (hobby) Club?' I referenced the club forming after meeting up with Seth and Nate on the 80th Anniversary Tour. This was the catalyst for the club to be formed and without it things like the weekly meets and the state contest would never have happened. However, this is not the beginning and end of the story.

One of the assumed perks of being part of the worlds largest and most recognizable YoYo manufacturer is touring. Lots of non yoyo companies do this to promote their product, but I think Duncan does it best. Duncan doesn't just send out yoyoers that show off for a couple of hours in the afternoon, hawk some plastic and bail. They send out individuals that generally care about helping the communities they are in by helping brand new players and veterans in any way they can. From hands on advice about throwing a better sleeper, to the intricacies of running a YoYo contest, the Duncan Crew has it covered. Over the length of these tours they yoyo for literally hundreds of hours. Do they ever get sick of helping a 5 year old out with a forward pass? Probably. Do they show it or let it affect their composure? Not that I've seen.

Whenever a Duncan tour comes to town, they immediately assimilate into the local community. No pretense of being a world class yoyoer among the less talented masses can be found. Just yoyoers helping yoyoers. Every time a Duncan Crew visit happens, we gain at least a few new faces in the club. Just for that we love Duncan.

It doesn't end there!

In addition to helping me form the KC YoYo Club, in 09, the Crew came back in a different form in '10. Takeshi, Jack, Drew and Hank really delivered for the club on this tour. On their first day in town, I met up with them at their first stop. It was a nonstop 6 hours of demonstrations and workshops. What did they want to do after? Well it was a Wednesday, so where's the YoYo Club meet?

That's right, after 6 hours of yoyoing with strangers, they couldn't wait to get back to yoyoing with more strangers! To this day I still think this was our greatest and most influential club meet. Since then skill levels have risen and kids have come out of their shells. More than that, we experienced an explosion in club membership. Every time Duncan comes to town we gain new yoyoers!

I was able to spend the majority of the week hanging out with these guys, any question I had about yoyoing in general from tricks to contest sponsorship, they answered without hesitation. Duncan and their Crew has been ultimately the most influential force in the organization of our club.

Following that visit, I've been in close contact with the guys at Duncan. We even managed to get Hank Freeman (now 2x National Champion and WORLD Champion, congrats Hank!) to judge the contest, and Takeshi to film and make an amazing video.

In these days where it seems like corporations in many markets try to take a 'hands off' approach to their customers, Duncan YoYos is doing the exact opposite. They're following the model that they have stood by since the days of wooden axles, sweater vests and playground demonstrations. For that I personally am thankful.

How can we pay them back for all they have done? Support them when they come to your town. Make sure you let them know how much you appreciate their efforts! If you see them at a contest, let them know how they've helped your community. These guys are truly humble and friendly people that love to help others out.

Me? Well... I did name my dog Duncan.

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YoYos in the Capital!

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This afternoon the Kansas City YoYo Club was invited to perform 2 demos and conduct 2 workshops at The Kansas Children's Discovery Center in our capital city, Topeka! Topeka is about 1 and a half hours west of where we normally meet, but those dedicated few in the area know that expansion of the yoyo club is vital to success. Thankfully, not only did we have great support from club regulars like Tommy and his Granfather Van, Petra, Connor and Joel, but we had some great local players in the form of Jacob Deffenbaugh and Alex Jones!

The show started with a physics lesson by Dr. Thomas from Washburn University.

Jacob and Tommy were both a huge help as they aren't really concerned with stage fright. They got up with me and helped demonstrate everything from basic tricks like Rock the Baby, to much more advanced tricks like Split The Atom.

Jacob's 5a is just amazing and he got a great response from his hometown crowd.
And of course, fan favorite Tommy put on an amazing show as well.
The workshops after both sessions were excellent! It seems like anytime we put on a show like this, the interest in yoyos explode. We had many parents interested in the club, unfortunately most of them were from right there in Topeka so it's a bit of a drive. However an expansion project is in the works! Can you get excited for a Topeka branch of the KCYYC? I know I can!

The Children's Discovery Center is an amazing place, I'm so glad we had the opportunity to perform there. Ms. Springer, our contact for the center was very helpful and accommodating for our event, we all hope we can work with the center again soon! Thanks for having us out!

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Come see the KCYYC tomorrow in Topeka!

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KCYYC feat. Kansas State Champion Jacob Deffenbaugh will be performing and teaching yoyo tricks at 11:30am and 1:30pm tomorrow! Come out and see us!

Kansas Children's Discovery Center
4400 SW 10th Ave
Topeka, KS 66604

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So you want a (hobby) club?

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I have been asked many times by many people how exactly the Kansas City YoYo Club came about, how it's been so successful, and how we've maintained that level of success. This is the first in a series of articles on building a stable foundation on which your club of any sort can grow.

Note: I refer to "YoYo Club" many times within this blog, but keep in mind that I wrote these pointers with any type of club in mind.

Part I: Inspiration.

For a few years I had fiddled with the idea of starting a local club. I consistently trashed the idea because of over-thinking it.
"Will people come?"
"Is yoyoing a dead hobby?"
"Are there enough yoyoers in my area with interest to sustain a club?"

I never really knew the answer to these questions until I started and became involved in a club. The inspiration came on September 17th, 2009 for me. After a few years away from the yoyo scene, I heard rumblings that the Duncan 80th Anniversary Tour had been stopping around Kansas City. That afternoon I tore the house apart looking for any yoyos to fill my pockets with, and ran out to see the tour. Getting there and seeing Seth Peterson and Nate Sutter filled me with some sort of energy that I can only describe as incredibly anxious. Anxious to do something for the yoyo world. They treated me like we had known each other forever, immediately getting me back into the loop as far as trick style and yoyos were concerned. Then Seth made mention "You know... we've met a LOT of yoyoers in Kansas City this past week."


All these years have gone by, and we have YOYOERS in this city??? At that moment, I knew it was my mission to create a gathering place for these mythical "yoyo people" that abide in my city.

My inspiration came from a very well known yoyoer, but it shouldn't have had to. I should have sought out the inspiration myself and gone through with it. Where will your inspiration come from? Random conversation with a professional yoyoer? Talking with the organizer for another successful club? Some random blog you have stumbled upon by accident? Seek it out, the sooner the better!

Part II: Location, Location, Location.

The next day I found myself searching online for a place for us to meet. It didn't immediately all fall together. Within a few days though, I struck gold. Reading a local website about fun things to do in the area, I found it - "Kansas City Juggling Festival - 2009".

I know, I know. Juggler's and YoYoers are bound by some sort of cosmic force. Drawn together into conventions, then separated like some sort of opposite polarity magnet while in the same room together. I had to try it anyway. That night, I went to the Juggling festival. The first person I met at the festival was Nick Civitello. I found out that he had actually been aa part of the yoyo community for quite some time, working with Infinite Illusions and helping with the WYYC. He was extremely receptive to having the yoyoers come meet up at the Juggling Club mid-week. Just like that, we had a location, date and time to meet. It only took a week.

My suggestions for finding a location for your club meets? Well, search out a local juggling chapter (I promise they aren't -that- weird). In lieu of that, search out other skill toy or kiting enthusiasts and see if they meet somewhere. Community Colleges are usually very receptive to having clubs meet in their multi-purpose rooms especially if you host free workshops to the public. If you work hard to find a location, it will pay off in the end.

Part III: Building the club.

By now, you've answered the two most important questions
"Am I sure I want to do this?" Yup.
"Do I have a location?" Yup.

Now comes the dedication part. You are not going to have a great turnout every week. You are going to be the only yoyoer there some weeks. People go on vacation, they burn out, they get sick. The one person that needs to be stable at the meets is YOU. Consistency is the key to success. I can't tell you how many times I've been the only person there, only to welcome someone brand new into the fold. This is how you build a good member base.

I was very fortunate to have John little as a go to guy in case I wasn't able to make it. If you have someone you can count on, make sure you keep in contact with them on club meet days. Someone NEEDS to be there. We haven't had a meeting in months where we didn't have more than 5 yoyoers. It is a slow build, but very worth it.

Other keys to building the member base are things like social media. You need a facebook group! You have to tell people in advance if there are changes to the club schedule or special events. Some of our members drive for an hour or more to get to the meets, so I need to let people know if plans change as soon as I get solid information.

Keep the forums up to date with this information as well. Out of towners drop by all the time because they're seen the information posted in the club/meet sections of yoyo forums. It's always a nice boost of energy to get new yoyoers in the mix!

The next article I'll be adding on this topic will include:
Handling problems that arise within the club.
Special Events.

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Fun times at the Kansas City YoYo Club.

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What a great meet! While we were short a few of our more advanced players due to vacations, we still had a great turnout, including:

Hula Hoops!

Plenty of YoYoers!

And the worlds youngest Paul Yath fan!

Mr. Nathan Martsolf made his first appearance at the club in awhile, I hear it's hard getting out of the house with a newborn child. He brought with him some amazing new yoyos, it seems like every week he's got something new and different. His C3 Halo was what made an impression on me. It's over sized at around 57mm, but plays great. It even rivals my Cruicial/Turning Point delrin that I've been throwing religiously. I guess I've got a thing for plastics lately.

Our resident yoyo prodigy Tommy (6 years old), has been working on his offstring recently, so we set off to land Soloham ( tonight. He made some excellent progress and generally got around 5 revolutions. Not bad for a brand new trick!

Our newest member Conner made some huge progress on Boingy Boingy and Eli Hops, he also went home with a Duncan Hayabusa thanks to a trade from Joel. This kid is obsessed with offstring! He could be the next Ben Conde!

Don't forget, this Saturday The KCYYC has a demonstration/workshop at The Kansas Children's Discovery Center in Topeka! Word has it local celebrity and 2011 Kansas State YoYo Champion Jacob Deffenbaugh will be there to show off to his hometown crowd!

Over the next few days I will be starting a new feature on the blog: Great moments in Kansas City Yoyoing. We'll be covering some of the best things to happen to the scene in the past! Everything from Wind Wizards to the 2011 KS States. Check back!

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Welcome to the blog!

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I figured it would be a good idea to start keeping a blog of the happenings around the Kansas City yoyo scene! From here on out, when the club is involved with anything yoyo related, you can hear about it here first! We have had so many amazing experiences since the club was founded that have not been properly archived, I'm hoping that this will be a catalyst for me to catalog things a bit better!

Look out for some awesome tidbits coming in the near future, as well as recaps of our club meets every Wednesday (great for when some members go on vacation. Hi Daniel and Robbie!). I'll be looking forward to keeping everyone updated on the happenings starting tonight!

Remember, our club meets every Wednesday at St Theresa's in KCMO from 6-8pm. Everyone is invited out afterwards for some food as well!

See you tonight!
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