Heartland Humanitarian

Toast to Our Towns

Toast to Our Towns

September 23, 2023

Humanitarians...Our Heroes.

Each year, Truman Heartland recognizes individuals whose generosity in charitable giving and volunteerism tremendously impacts the region we serve. We are privileged to recognize those whose philanthropy makes our community a better place to live and serve.

The 2022 Heartland Humanitarians of the Year are Joan and Steve Israelite

Both Steve and Joan are positive, energetic, insightful, and selfless in their lifelong goal of bettering the community. Whether it be the impact of art, urban revitalization, empowerment through education, or Jewish heritage, Steve and Joan are dedicated to helping others by giving of themselves. 

Starting as Peace Corps volunteers, both Steve and Joan have dedicated countless hours to board service, volunteering their skills and expertise throughout their lifetime of achievements. Joan is a former Presidential Appointee to the National Council on the Arts, a Founder of Arts KC, and currently a development consultant for the Kauffman Center for the Preforming Arts. Meanwhile, Steve is a former regional director of HUD, founder and former CEO of the Jewish Heritage Foundation, former Urban League board member, and current board member for KC Scholars and Englewood Arts. 

Most recently, this dynamic couple has spent many hours working to help revitalize the Englewood community in Independence through their support of Englewood Arts. Together, they continue to give back to the community by spreading their passion and enthusiasm for the arts and urban development as they give generously to others in the community.

Past Recipients

2021 – Jim and Mary Stilley 
2020 – Brent Schondelmeyer and Lee Williams 
2019 – Tom and Carman Duvall
2018 – Robert (Bob) F. Glaser
2017 – Brad and Sandy Cox
2016 – Terry and Betty Snapp
2015 – Mike and Jan McGraw
2014 – Norman Swails
2013 – Dr. Bridget McCandless
2012 – Dave and Shirley Wurth
2011 – Gene and Joanne Cable
2010 – John and Nancy Kimak
2009 – Dave Jeter and Jim Kidwell
2008 – Larry Moore
2007 – Silver Legacy Award, Harry S. Truman Library and Museum
2006 – Dr. Frederick Hahn
2005 – John Jordan “Buck” O’Neil
2004 – Junior Service League of Independence 
2003 – Dr. Robert E. “Bud” Hertzog
2002 – Allen Lefko
2001 – Helen French
2000 – Chuck and Colleen Foudree
1999 – Bob Reeds
1998 – David P. Ross
1997 – Barbara J. Potts
1996 – Byron Constance


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