Bob and Gail Regan have used their UMKC educations in lots of different fields but with one common goal: serving others.
Bob (B.L.A. ’97) works with Project Independence, a program that supports people with developmental disabilities. Gail (Ph.D. ’04) is an associate professor at Castleton University, as well as a mentor for girls.
In addition, they both volunteer as adaptive ski instructors, helping people with disabilities to enjoy outdoor activities. The couple says volunteering is a great way to connect amidst their busy schedules.
“The first winter we participated in training was very cold, and we found that having weekend volunteer commitments were incentives to get out rather than complain about the weather!” Gail says. “Doing something fun and useful has been a good way to spend time together.”
Bob, however, is perhaps best known for an entirely different type of service. In 1980, while living in Kansas City, he opened the popular Brookside restaurant Charlie Hooper’s. His general manager of 20 years, Kelly Buckert, is also a UMKC graduate.
Some of Bob’s favorite memories of Kansas City revolve around Charlie Hooper’s — tailgating at Chiefs games, supporting the Kansas City Comets and preparing for the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade. The restaurant also supported the UMKC women’s basketball program.
When Gail finished her degree at UMKC, the couple relocated to New Haven, Vt., where Gail teaches health and wellness courses at Castleton. She also volunteers with Girls on the Run, a program to help girls make smart, healthy choices. Gail says it’s the perfect way to foster her interest in physical activity but also provide a service-learning opportunity for her students.
“For me personally, it is a nice complement to the traditional college-age group to interact with the generally sweet, energetic, eager-to-chat young girls.”