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Holly Upshaw (left) takes a step back and raises her arms in defense while facing her daughter Abbie during a prior year’s TAKE self-defense class at Paola Middle School. This year’s class is scheduled to take place Saturday, Aug. 8, at the middle school.

***UPDATE*** the in-person class has now been canceled due to low pre-registration, but those already registered will now receive a link to a virtual class, according to the Paola Police Department.

PAOLA - Local women will have the opportunity to learn how to defend themselves Saturday, Aug. 8, during the 10th annual women’s self-defense class organized by the Paola Police Department and instructed by the T.A.K.E. Foundation (The Ali Kemp Educational Foundation).

The foundation was formed in memory of Ali Kemp, who was murdered in 2002 at the age of 19 while working at a neighborhood pool in Johnson County.

The class is scheduled to take place from 10 a.m. to noon Aug. 8 at Paola Middle School, 405 N. Hospital Drive. A $12 donation is requested but not required, and refreshments will be provided.

All females above the age of 12 are invited to attend the event, and they can pre-register at www.takedefense.org. Participating women are encouraged to wear comfortable clothing.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the police department is encouraging all participants to bring a family/household member as a practice partner to the event to limit exposure. Social distancing measures will also be implemented.

For more information, contact Capt. Eric Jenkins or officer Yessenia Rizo at 259-3640 or via email at ejenkins@cityofpaola.com or yrizo@cityofpaola.com.

Editor and Publisher Brian McCauley can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or brian.mccauley@miconews.com.

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