South KC Perspective
SKCA Awards Breakfast
By John Sharp
Over 300 people including several elected officials attended the 3rd annual South Kansas City Alliance (SKCA) Awards Breakfast at Avila University Thursday, August 23, to see awards presented to 22 individuals and organizations for their service to the community.
Lou Austin, recipient of this year’s Alvin Brooks Lifetime Service Award, spoke at the event about the importance of educating today’s students and future generations about the significance of the historic frontier trails that traversed south Kansas City.
Over 100 nominations were received for this year’s awards, and as chair of the SKCA’s Awards Committee I found it extremely difficult narrowing that list down to a manageable number of ultimate winners since almost all of the nominees were clearly worthy of recognition.
Among those nominated were longtime south Kansas City volunteer neighborhood leaders Jerry Darter, Tim Henry, Tiffany Moore, Mariann Tow, Lillie Walker and Steve Walker.
Nominees ranged in age from senior citizens such as Gary Swanson who arranges the monthly living history presentations at Trailside Center by veterans to young persons such as Jeremy Rice, a senior at Center High School who was one of only three U.S. Naval Sea Cadets in the country selected to participate in this year’s Sea Cadets International Exchange Program in the United Kingdom.
Numerous public employees also were nominated for their outstanding service such as the members of the Police Department work group that was formed to investigate the murders on or near south Kansas City trails. The work of those police officers – Sergeant Barbara Eckert and Detectives Alane Booth, Chason Crowell, Daniel Frazier and Hobart Price – contributed greatly to the arrest and filing of six murder charges against a suspect in all but one of those cases.