This year marks the 26th anniversary of the Toast to Our Towns Gala, benefiting Truman Heartland Community Foundation (THCF). This year’s celebration of philanthropy will be September 25, 2021, at the Sheraton Kansas City at Crown Center. At the event, individuals, businesses, and organizations will be recognized for making a significant philanthropic impact in Eastern Jackson County and surrounding communities.
Presented by Blue Ridge Bank and Trust Co., the in-person celebration will start at 7:00pm. THCF will award the Humanitarians of the Year, Corporate Citizen of the Year, and Service Awards during the event.
Heartland Humanitarians of the Year, Jim and Mary Stilley.
THCF will honor Jim and Mary Stilley for their efforts to promote education, embrace science and technology, and create a healthy, thriving community have made a lasting impact in Lee’s Summit and beyond. From early childhood education and historic preservation to domestic violence and genetic research, Jim and Mary are deeply devoted to improving their community’s quality of life.
Serving on several Boards, both Jim and Mary are dedicated volunteers who freely give their time and talent. Mary served many years as a Board member on the Lee’s Summit School Board and Educational Foundation and was a member of her church’s mission committee, local P.E.O. chapter, and the Hope House capital campaign committee. Jim kept himself busy by serving on various boards and committees for the Raytown Kiwanis Club, Jackson County Historical Society, Lee’s Summit Symphony, Children’s Mercy Hospital, Truman Library Institute, and Cave Springs Park.
Jim spent nearly a decade volunteering his leadership to Truman Heartland Community Foundation as a Board member and past Chair. Both Jim and Mary have served on THCF Advisory committees, are fundholders and legacy donors, ensuring their philanthropic endeavors will continue to bear fruit for years to come.
Heartland Corporate Citizen of the Year, Continental Siding
Continental Siding has been a fixture in the Independence community for nearly 40 years, with core values steeped in innovation and integrity.
While Covid-19 forced many businesses to lay off employees and shut down operations, Owner and President Alec Cook continued to pay his 2,000 employees, even if they were unable to work. In addition, to further ensure the financial stability of both his employees and those they know and love during the crisis, he gave each employee a bonus and an additional $500 to pay it forward and help someone in need.
When the pandemic impacted local fundraising events, like the SantaCaliGon Days Festival, Continental Siding worked tirelessly to find additional resources to help the Independence Chamber of Commerce continue its good work. These generous efforts set a high bar for other Chamber members, bringing in more than $75,000 in annual memberships to help sustain the Chamber and protect jobs.
From funding scholarships for students at his alma mater, Truman High School, donating the company’s advertising budget to bolster local charitable giving, volunteering on numerous boards, and attending charity events, Alec and Continental Siding make a significant positive impact in the local community every day.
Heartland Service Awards
To recognize their extraordinary efforts in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, THCF will honor six local healthcare professionals with Heartland Service Awards to recognize their exemplary leadership during the crisis.
Centerpoint Medical Center - Lorraine Duncan, MD, FACEP - Emergency Medical Specialist
Truman Medical Center Lakewood - Laura Anstaett Peckham, RN, MHA, MBA, NEA-BC - Senior Director, Community and Family Medicine and Medicine Specialties
St. Mary’s Hospital - Angela Haley, BSN, RN - Cardiology Services, Pulmonary Rehab, & Interventional Radiology Manager
Lee’s Summit Medical Center - J. C. Ireland, DO - Critical Care Physician
Saint Luke’s East Hospital, Lee’s Summit - Susie Krug, RN, BSN, MHA, CENP - Chief Nursing Officer
Children’s Mercy Hospital - Amy Latimer RN, BSN, MSN, CPN - Department Director of Nursing
For more information about Toast to Our Towns Gala sponsorship opportunities, table reservations, tickets, or those being honored, please visit www.thcf.org/Toast-to-Our-Towns-Gala or call 816.836.8189.