July 26, 2022
The Midwest Krawlers are an off-roading group based out of the greater KC metro area. Members represent 15 states including Wyoming and Louisiana.
“We are like-minded individuals that come together to share knowledge, experiences, passion, and purpose. When we’re not playing with our toys, as my wife would say, we’re out on trails," Social Director, Jason Phelps said.
Founded in 2016 by seven people, the Midwest Krawlers now have 650 dues-paying members.
The Midwest Krawlers meet up multiple times a month for trail riding.
“Getting a group our size together is difficult, but we do have a couple of hometown parks with the primary being Kansas Rocks Recreation Park. We like to get down there and wheel once if not twice a month," Phelps said.
The group also frequents Tuttle Creek and Southern Missouri Off-Road Ranch.
The Midwest Krawlers have a passion for preserving the environment they all enjoy.
“We practice, are a member of, and are accredited by Tread Lightly. The view is leave it in better condition than what you found it in. You practice safe wheeling as we would say, you stay on trail, you only wheel in designated areas, you pack out what you pack in, and we clean as we go.”
This year it was May 21, 2022.
"It’s the official kick off to the summer weather by taking the top off your vehicle. It gives people and Jeepers the opportunity just to get together," Phelps said.
Extreme Terrain has since made the day more community service focused.
“What they’ve done in recent history is giving it more of a purpose. They’ll match up to $500 for a 501(c)(3) of your choosing.”
One of the Midwest Krawler's biggest missions is serving the community.
“As you peel back that onion of why we come together, it unlocks why we are involved in community service.”
Last year, the Midwest Kralwers raised $12,000 for local charities.
“We’re a bunch of people, both men and women, that like to get out, get dirty, and do some good.”
For its Go Topless Day, the Midwest Krawlers chose to benefit St. Michael's Veteran Center. The organization works to end homelessness among veterans. The Midwest Krawlers worked with the Kansas City chapter. It's a cause that is important to the club.
"We sleep under the blanket of protection that they provide. When they come home, they’re reacclimating into the general population. Unfortunately, some do end up homeless or are really at risk for becoming homeless.”
Midland Radio donated GMRS radios to the group for its raffle.
The group had record-breaking attendance at its Go Topless event with 131 vehicles and 250 people.
“With that friendship and brotherhood if you will, we feel like we have the ability to serve a higher purpose and give back to the communities that afford us the luxuries that we have. It’s one thing to have a large group and waive a banner, but it’s another thing entirely to do something with those members and focus that effort to do better. That’s one of our guiding lights," Phelps said.
They raised $6,000 at the event, just the first of its three fundraising events this year.
Phelps reached out to Midland Radio because he knows how important communication is on the trails.
“If you’re in the middle of the trail, enjoying yourself, having a good time, but you unfortunately have a mechanical issue, you’ve got to have quality products to be able to communicate so you can get help and keep the group together. Midland with their MicroMobile GMRS two-way radio and X-Talkers, in my experience I have never found a better product.”
While the group doesn't require GMRS radios, they are suggested.
“If you want to be a leader of a group on the trails, you must have a GMRS radio. You must be able to effectively communicate with the rest of your group. We also carry some X-Talkers with us to hand out to anybody that doesn’t have a radio so that we can effectively communicate," Phelps said.
Phelps reached out to Midland Radio because of the brand's leadership in GMRS two-way radio industry.
“It’s up to us to share with others the importance of a good radio and clear communication. We wanted to partner with Midland to give out a product that was quality, that we can always trust, and to educate others who may not understand the importance of communication.”
Phelps said as the off-roading sport continues to rapidly grow in popularity, so does the enthusiasm for Midland's GMRS radios.
"Having these Midland products drew a lot of excitement. We can’t thank Midland’s GMRS radio products or support enough.”
The St. Michaels Veteran Center works to, "provide a dignified place to live and an opportunity for veterans to become their best selves."
The center's staff customizes solutions to best support the veterans' goals surrounding employment, physical and mental health, trauma, and addiction management.
The goal is to help the veterans achieve long-term health, employment, and financial stability.
"They take care of the men and women who have fought for our freedoms," Phelps said.
SMVC has provided permanent supportive housing to over 200 veterans in the Kansas City area experiencing homelessness or living with a disability.
The organization's Housing Phase I opened with 58 apartment homes in 2014. In 2016, Phase II had 59 apartment homes and the SMVC Service Center.