Historic trails proponent to be honored at breakfast

Historic trails proponent Lou Austin and many more will be honored at the SKCA awards breakfast on Thursday.

Lou Austin 2
Lou Austin, a leading proponent for historic frontier trails will be honored at the South Kansas City Alliance awards breakfast August 23. 

South KC Perspective

Historic Frontier Trails proponent to be honored at awards breakfast

By John Sharp

Lou Austin, a leading proponent for decades of constructing walking and biking paths along the shared route of the historic frontier trails through the metropolitan area will

John Sharp

be among those honored at the 3rd Annual South Kansas City Alliance (SKCA) awards breakfast at 7:30 a.m. Thursday, August 23, at the Avila University Athletic Pavilion.

Paved paths already have been constructed along major portions of the shared route.

He will receive the Alvin Brooks Lifetime Service Award named for the former Kansas City mayor pro tem and founder of the AdHoc Group Against Crime.  Brooks was the first recipient of the Lifetime Service Award which was later named after him.  Last year’s recipient was former KCMO Police Chief and current Jackson County Sheriff Darryl Forte.

Austin is a leader in commemorating the historical significance of the California, Oregon and Santa Fe Frontier Trails which shared a route through the metropolitan area including south Kansas City before diverging in the Gardner, Kan., area.  He also has played a leading role in assuring that the contributions of our ancestors of all ethnicities and both genders are at last being recognized.

The Judy Swope Good Neighbor Award named for the late Kansas City councilwoman and neighborhood leaders will be presented to Margie Haugh, a longtime community leader in the Bannister Acres area.  Haugh led the successful effort years ago to connect homes in that area to city sanitary sewers.  They had been served by septic tanks which were causing health hazards.

The first winner of this award was Carol McClure, longtime leader of the Southern Communities Coalition, and last year’s winner was Carol Winterowd, president of the Center Planning & Development Council.

The Outstanding Young Achiever Award will be given to Caleb Kopatz, a young elementary school student who led the effort to plant a community orchard at Red Bridge Elementary School, and to Omari Tatum, a student leader at Southeast High School who organized student efforts to reduce gun violence in the community.

“We got a record breaking number totaling more than 100 nominations for these awards this year,” said SKCA President Stacey Johnson-Cosby, “and all the nominees were worthy of recognition.”

“We’ll continue to do this annually to honor the many persons and organizations who are doing great things to help our community,” she said.

Other award recipients are:

Good Corporate Citizenship – Grade A Tree Care

Outstanding Community Service – Torrence Allen, Charles and Cheryl Farris, and Jeanne McGuire

Outstanding Educational Achievement Program – the Center School District Professional Studies program, the Grandview School District Project Lead the Way, the Kansas City Public Schools mentoring programs and the Ruskin High School Theater Department.

Outstanding Government Service – Rose Rhodes

Outstanding Neighborhood Organization – Armour Hills Homes Association

Outstanding Public Safety Service – Officer Eric Williams, Officer Brian Arant, the South Patrol Division of the Kansas City Police Department, Fire Apparatus Operator Sharon Martin, and Battalion 107 and the Rescue Division of the Kansas City Fire Department

Persons may obtain more information and securely purchase tickets or tables for the breakfast from the SKCA website at www.SouthKCAlliance.org.  Tickets for the full breakfast buffet are $25, and tables for eight are only $180.

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