Toast to Our Towns Gala logo with three butterflies

Each year, Truman Heartland Community Foundation tasks area mayors with nominating an extraordinary citizen from their city to receive the coveted Citizen of the Year Award. These citizens have proven themselves to be instrumental in the development of strong communities and offering unwavering support to their neighbors.

To Be Announced

Past Recipients


Blue Springs – Russell Clark
Grain Valley – Marty Napier
Grandview – Ben Teevan
Independence – Bob Spradling
Lake Lotawana & Lee’s Summit – Carl Chinnery
Lake Tapawingo – John Braden
Oak Grove – Becky & Randy Messer
Raytown – Martha Cockerell
Sugar Creek – Patrick Casey


Blue Springs – Keith Hannaman
Grain Valley – Bob Headley
Independence – Karen DeLuccie (posthumous)
Lake Tapawingo – Jayme Dean
Lee’s Summit – Dr. Elaine Metcalf
Oak Grove – The Fidler Family
Raytown – Dr. Allan Markley
Sugar Creek – Jeff Shawhan


Blue Springs – Cindy Miller & Dale Carter
Grain Valley – David Ward
Independence – Karen Downey
Lake Tapawingo – Tom Goddard
Lee’s Summit – Bob & Candy White
Oak Grove – Maeghan Timothy
Raytown – Allan Thompson
Sugar Creek – Stan Sagehorn


Blue Springs – James L. May
Grain Valley – Christina “Kiki” Claphan (posthumous)
Independence – Stan and Michele Crumbaugh
Lake Tapawingo – Brad Cloverdyke
Lee’s Summit – Wyatt and Crystal Durgan
Raytown – Carol Frevert and Mary Oyler
Sugar Creek – Bill Haman


Blue Springs – The Meyers Family
Grain Valley – Dr. Brad Welle
Independence – Randy (posthumous) & Kathleen Vest
Lake Tapawingo – Tomi Bellinghausen
Lee’s Summit – Dr. Jay Rapley
Raytown – Vicki Turnbow
Sugar Creek – Don Border


Blue Springs — The Cosentino Family
Grain Valley — Jim Kissick
Independence — Dave and Connie Mayta
Lake Tapawingo — Rocky Queen
Lee’s Summit — Rod Handley
Raytown — DeeAnn Stock
Sugar Creek — Don and Mary Puhr


Blue Springs — N.T. Reed (Nick) Burrus
Grain Valley — James (Jim) T. Cook
Independence — Brad Speaks
Lake Tapawingo — George W. (Renny) Buckaloo
Lee’s Summit — Laurence Pressly
Raytown — Steve Mock (Posthumously)
Sugar Creek — Joseph D. Kenney


Blue Springs — Dave Smith
Grain Valley — Darryl Jones
Independence — Donna Pittman
Lake Winnebago — Chief Richard Williams
Lee’s Summit — Nick and Jennifer Swearngin
Raytown — Chris and Stacey Payne
Sugar Creek — Bob Buckley


Blue Springs — Linda Edison
Grain Valley — Michael Scully
Independence — Ron and Molly Clemons
Lake Winnebago — Steve Besermin
Lee’s Summit — Art and Hope Davis
Raytown — David Bower
Sugar Creek — Valerie Soule


Blue Springs — Ted and Betty Meyer
Grain Valley — Allen Lefko
Independence — Bill and Jill Esry
Lake Winnebago — Dr. Steven Silverstein
Lee’s Summit — The Tominia Family
Raytown — Mike McDonough
Sugar Creek — Herb Soule


Blue Springs — Steve Steiner & Dale Walkup
Grain Valley — Nancy Totton
Independence — Jack Gant
Lake Winnebago — Michael Collar
Lee’s Summit — Christine Bushyhead
Raytown — Terry Landers
Sugar Creek — Stan Salva


Blue Springs — Eleanor Frasier
Grain Valley — Jeff Coleman
Independence — Bill Rogers
Lake Winnebago — Aldo Mariotti
Lee’s Summit — Susan Coffman
Raytown — Bob and Jodie Smith
Sugar Creek — Dennis Onka


Blue Springs — F. Mark Hissong and Steve Mokosak
Grain Valley — David “Scott” Hedger
Independence — Jerry Mackey
Lake Winnebago — Dr. Jim Elias
Lee’s Summit – Dr. Emmanuel Ngomsi
Oak Grove — Danny and Dottie Hughes
Raytown — Barbara and Ben Carmack
Sugar Creek — Robert and Debbie Ray


Blue Springs — Art Phillips
Grain Valley — Dale and Sheila Arnold
Independence — Robert J. “Bob” Reeds
Lake Winnebago — Shirley Bond
Lee’s Summit — Jon Ellis and Vicky Cundiff
Oak Grove — Floyd and Frances Evans
Raytown — Kenneth Fleishmann and Kenneth Whisler
Sugar Creek — Jim Rittel and John Ryan


Blue Springs — Tom Evans
Grain Valley — Sharon Stewart
Independence — Ira and Nina Anders
Lake Winnebago — Jim McCambridge
Lee’s Summit — Michael Paul and Mary Ann Swisher
Oak Grove — Roy Meier
Raytown — Kenneth Blom
Sugar Creek — Veronica Powell


Blue Springs — Dr. Mark and Mrs. Cheryl Mozer
Grain Valley — Mary Strack
Independence — School Transition Team
Kansas City — Rev. John Modest Miles
Lake Winnebago — David Claycomb
Lee’s Summit — Geneva High
Oak Grove — Norby Corn
Raytown — Mike Aprill
Sugar Creek — Robert and Jake Welch


Blue Springs — Rick Nelson and Jeanie Lauer
Grain Valley — Dr. Chris Small
Independence — Cynthia and Kenneth McClain
Lake Winnebago — Bob Mais
Lee’s Summit — Larry Stewart, posthumously
Oak Grove — Hollis Dyer
Raytown — John Ness
Sugar Creek — Robert Pinter and Barry Berislavich
Silver Legacy, Harry S. Truman Library and Museum


Blue Springs — Lois Krueger
Grain Valley — Chuck Johnston
Independence — Glenn and Ada Betts
Kansas City — Mary Lou Jaramillo
Lake Winnebago — Robert Bennett
Lee’s Summit — Kathy Smith
Raytown — Al Maddox
Sugar Creek — Joe and Kathleen Woods


Blue Springs — Louie Lamendola
Grain Valley — David Hackett
Independence — Dr. Bridget McCandless
Kansas City — E. Frank Ellis
Lee’s Summit — Gene Gamber
Raytown — Gary Knabe
Sugar Creek — Ron Rybarczyk


Blue Springs — Larry Sparks
Grain Valley — Jan Reding
Independence — Larry Blick
Kansas City — Rev. Ralph J. Crabbe
Lee’s Summit — Phyllis Hamilton and Russ Berlin
Raytown — Rosalie Vanzant
Sugar Creek — L. Earle Conner


Blue Springs — Cindy Coburn
Grain Valley — Matt Farlin
Independence — Ken Johnston
Kansas City — Herbert M. Kohn
Lee’s Summit — Paula Belser
Raytown — Dr. Marlon Steinert
Sugar Creek — Alex Petrovic
Lone Jack — Howard E. Hensel


Blue Springs — Diane Mack
Grain Valley — Kim Roam
Independence — Galen Boyer, Jr.
Kansas City — C. Patrick McLarney
Lee’s Summit — Mel Aytes
Raytown — Edna Scahill
Sugar Creek — Mark O’Renick


Blue Springs — Derrick Warren
Grain Valley — Steve Gildehaus
Independence — Robert F. Glaser
Kansas City — Herman A. Johnson
Lake Lotawana — Dave Wagner
Lee’s Summit — Betty McNought
Raytown — Alyse Stoll
Sugar Creek — Lanard Toys


Blue Springs — Pam Albarelli and Lyle Shaver
Independence — Carl Mesle
Kansas City — Carolyn Vellar
Lake Lotawana — Howard Chamberlin
Lee’s Summit — Bud Hertzog
Raytown — Robert R. Sego
Sugar Creek — Charles Dumsky
Oak Grove — Brad and Fred Byam


Blue Springs — Carol Journagan
Independence — Lu Vaughan
Kansas City — Neighborhood Volunteers
Lake Lotawana — Barbara Robison
Lee’s Summit — Kay Ford
Raytown — Allen J. Brown
Sugar Creek — John Maglich
Grandview — Don Armacost, Jr.


Blue Springs — Imelda Farmer
Independence — Steven E. Mauer
Kansas City — Mary Groves Bland
Lake Lotawana — Rodney Sommers
Lee’s Summit — John C. Graham, Sr.
Raytown — Judith L. Ness
Sugar Creek — John McEvoy
Greenwood — Dan Vansickle


Blue Springs — Olen Wilkinson
Independence — Paul Weston
Kansas City — Vernon Thompson
Lake Lotawana — Brenda Ferrell
Lee’s Summit — Mary Stacy
Raytown — Shirley and David Wurth
Sugar Creek — Nancy Kimak
Lone Jack — James Neece


Blue Springs — Jim Moran
Independence — Roberta Coker
Kansas City — Rev. Wallace Hartsfield
Lake Lotawana — Paulla Martin
Lee’s Summit — Rev. Tom G. Haley
Raytown — Penny Hoffman
Sugar Creek — John C. “Jack” O’Renick
Grain Valley — Robert Gillette

two dressed up women smiling
Michele Crumbaugh, 2023 Gala Chair, with Dr. Nancy Newhouse, Reception host