In my younger years I can remember being at middle school mixers and repeatedly doing the same dance move over and over. Slow songs, fast songs, disco – it did not matter. The move involved an awkward repetitive motion somewhat simulating doing push-ups toward the sky. This crowd pleaser was called raising the roof.

Thankfully raising the roof went out with the 90’s, but something that never goes out of style is raising ON the roof.

Beginning Thursday, March 6, The Kansas City Blues Rugby Team, a group of 15 Division I athletes, will be camping out in tents on the roof of the River of Refuge transitional living center until they are able to reach $25,000. The money will benefit the city’s first-of-its-kind comprehensive transitional housing, dedicated solely to homeless working families currently residing in motels.

“We created a strong relationship with River of Refuge during our off-season this year and we are so excited to be working with an organization that is doing such good work,” Kansas City Blues Rugby Club President Derek Mannell said. “It is rewarding to be a part of something for which we can truly see lives being changed.”

The River of Refuge has been changing lives since 2009 when Pastor John Wiley witnessed a group of children loading a school bus from the parking lot of an old run-down motel in Raytown, Mo. He immediately began searching for a way working families could escape the pay-by-week motels that they become trapped in. In the first edition of Community Investor Magazine Mr. Wiley discusses the importance of River of Refuge and their mission to help families find a place to live.

“There has been tremendous growth in family homelessness in the past several years due to the economic recession,” Wiley said. “There just simply are not enough beds available at family homeless shelters to serve the number of local families looking for a place to sleep.”

As previously mentioned, the River of Refuge intends to open a transitional family housing facility in the former Park Lane Hospital with the money raised from Rooftop Blues. But in addition to that, they also intend to offer programs for transitioning to self-sufficiency such as financial counseling and the necessary resources toward finding permanent housing solutions.

The Blues understand the need for something like this and are not taking this challenge lightly. You know as well as I do that a March day in Kansas City can mean a blizzard, a heat wave or even a twister, but come rain or shine the team will be there. A live webcam will broadcast their every move as they work hard to raise the money via text, tweet or anything else they have at their disposal. Family, friends, business associates and anyone else who wants to donate to this great cause can safely and easily do so by visiting