Virtual Wagy Awards – Dec. 3

AAUW-KC has awarded several grants to local community organizations for projects that support our mission of promoting equity, education, intellectual growth, individual worth, and development of opportunities for women and girls.

These grants are made possible from a generous bequest from the estate of Irene Wagy, a member of the Branch who passed away in 1996, plus donations from Branch members. Since 1997, we have awarded 99 grants totaling $244,435. Grants range from $1,000 to $4,000.

Those of you who have attended the December awards event where local community organization awardees tell us about their organization and projects, understand how much good these grants do. 

In addition to asking for general contributions in support of these awards, we accept donations made in honor of Branch leaders who have recently passed away. We call this the Leadership Memorial Fund.

To donate to the Wagy fund, please make checks payable to: AAUW Wagy Fund/Amer01 and mail to:

Greater Kansas City Community Foundation

Attn: Kelli Doyle

1055 Broadway, Suite 130

Kansas City, MO 64105

Please note if you want to make your donation in the name of a recently deceased Branch member, write Leadership Memorial in the memo line on your check.

You can also donate online at: https://gkccf.kimbia.com/gkccf with AAUW Wagy Fund/Amer01 as the Fund Name. The GKCCF is a 501©3 nonprofit organization and encourages all donors to consult their tax professionals regarding tax deductions related to charitable contributions.

Thank you for considering this request for funding to support a program that represents what we do at AAUW so well.

Click here register to attend this year’s virtual Wagy Awards event on Saturday, December 3 beginning at 11:30 a.m.

2021 Wagy Committee: Ellen Johnson, Chair; Linda Berube; Patty Cahill; Corinne Mahaffey; Dr. Luna Mukherjee; Wanda Perkins; and Joan Shores.

2021 Thorpe Menn Literary Excellence Award Winners

Lisa D. Stewart (pictured, center) was awarded the 2021 Thorpe Menn Award on October 9, for her memoir The Big Quiet: One Women’s Horseback Ride Home at the award luncheon held in the Community Hall at the Midwest Genealogy Center, a Mid-Continent Library, in Independence. She was presented with $300 and a framed certificate.

Of note, Lisa’s husband Robert Stewart won the Thorpe Menn Award in 2004 for his book Outside Language: Essays.

Steve Liwer was first runner-up (pictured, right) for his book, The Music Between Us: Memoir of a Bedside Musician, and Barbara Loots (pictured, left) was second runner-up for her book of poetry, The Beekeeper and Other Love Poems. Both were presented with $100 and a framed certificate.

Andrea Warren, the 2020 winner for her young reader book, Enemy Child: The Story of Norman Mineta, a Boy Imprisoned in a Japanese American Internment Camp During World War II was our keynote speaker. She recounted her journey as an author writing nine books for young readers.

Over 50 guests were welcomed by Steven V. Potter, Director of Libraries, Mid-Continent Library, who surprised the committee by offering to hold the 2022 luncheon at the new center at Woodneath Library.

Click here for the list of 2021 Thorpe Menn Literary Excellence Award Nominees.

Elected Officers 2021-2022

President Dr. Luna Mukherjee

President-Elect Corrine Mahaffey

Program Vice President Wanda Perkins

Finance Officer Linda Berube

Membership Vice President Pat Taylor

Secretary Lynette Procopio

Recap: 2021 Reentry Scholarship Awards Ceremony

Debra McArthur of the Parkville Branch and IBC Reentry Chair hosted this virtual celebration on Saturday, April 17. Debra introduced the keynote speaker Joni Wickham, chief of staff in former Mayor Sly James’ office. Joni is the author of the book, The Thin Line Between Cupcake/Bitch: Taking Action, Driving Change and Getting Results. The title reflects encapsulating the conflict and tensions women in politics often experience in an older, white male dominated world. Her personal experiences inspired her to develop the thesis of the book which is that women should use their POWER to overcome bias vis-a-viz Preparation, Ownership, Wisdom, Energy, Emotion and Respect. She explained in detail with a slide presentation the concept of POWER and ended her presentation by congratulating the Reentry award winners and encouraging them to use their own power in the fulfillment of their goals.

Debra introduced the IBC scholarship winners, all of whom are nursing students. They include: Electra Arzola, Park University; Angela Bennet, Maple Woods; Adra Sanchez, Blue River MCC; and Tomisha Woodruff, UMKC.

The Toni Thornton Award recipients were congratulated by John Thornton who explained the background of the award, a legacy provided by his deceased wife whose name honors the award and who figured very prominently in AAUW.  The winners are Argelia Fagre-Rivas, a student at KCKCC in the respiratory therapy nursing program, and Emily Holmes, also a student at KCKCC in the nursing program.

The Reentry scholarships were awarded to two more students this year! The additional funds were provided through the gracious donation of AAUW-KC, due to the disruption in the face-to-face program for 100 High School Girls. The recipients are Amanda Kuhn and Patricia Stover, both KCKCC students. Amanda is an accounting student and Patricia is enrolled in the medical assistant program.

The program ended on a high note with congratulations to all the outstanding and deserving recipients and a fervent hope by Debra that the awards ceremony can be held in person next year!