KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Some of Kansas City’s biggest companies are pushing an initiative to lure young professionals to town by offering events aimed at making the area more appealing to the millennial generation.
The first of those offerings is scheduled for July at the Liberty Memorial, where organizers hope to re-create the raucous atmosphere of a popular golf hole on the PGA circuit by offering participants a chance to win $1 million with a hole-in-one on a 170-par 3 hole carved into the north lawn.

The initiative, called LiveKC, is spearheaded by Robb Heineman, chief executive of Sporting Kansas City, and Cliff Illig, a Cerner co-founder and Sporting owner, The Kansas City Star reported (http://bit.ly/1jlG7yg ).

Sprint Corp. and Hallmark Cards Inc. are among other big-name sponsors.

“It’s the major employers in Kansas City, all of whom are facing some of the same issues when it comes to attracting millennials to their company,” Heineman said.

While Kansas City has had success in attracting millennials _ people born between 1982 and 2004 _ it still faces tough competition from places like Chicago, New York and San Francisco, Heineman said.

According to recent study by the Brookings Institution, the Kansas City area gained about 2,200 young adults annually between 2009 and 2012, 14th among the 51 American metropolitan areas with more than 1 million people.

Among those competing for young professionals is Cerner, which is planning to hire thousands of new employees as the health care technology giant expands into its new campus planned for the site of the former Bannister Mall on the city’s south side.

The first event, dubbed the “Fiery Stick Open” festival, will be held July 18. Other planned LiveKC events are a pub crawl, World Cup watch parties and the LiveKC 1/2K, billed as Kansas City’s shortest road race.