Wagy Awards & Holiday Luncheon – Dec. 8 RECAP

Each year the Kansas City Branch of AAUW, through its Nettie Irene Van Der Veer Wagy fund, awards grants to local social service and cultural organizations for projects that support AAUW’s mission. In 2018, 28 organizations submitted letters of interest. All were interesting and worthy of support. The following were awarded grants at the 2018 Wagy Awards & Holiday Luncheon on December 8.

• Epic Inc.-The Grooming Project seeks to stabilize the lives of single mothers  by combining vocational training (pet grooming) with comprehensive support services such as parenting and budgeting.

• Gordon Parks Elementary School – For Girls on The Run for At-Risk Girls teaches life skills, such as teamwork, perseverance and hard work while training to run a 5k marathon. This grant purchases running shoes for girls in the third and fourth grade.

• Journey to New Life provides a path to success for women after incarceration. Funding goes to Journey House, a transitional housing facility for women after incarceration, for personal hygiene, education and medical and dental expenses.

• Women’s Foundation of Greater Kansas City – Improvement of Work Force Development for Women through Salary Negotiation Training – Using AAUW-developed curriculum “Work Smart”, the program helps women navigate the complexities of negotiating benefit packages, promotions, etc.

• Unicorn Theatre illuminates social issues through stories that include race, religion and gender identity. This years play, “The Wolves”, is a story of growth and girlhood.

These grants are provided through earnings from the Wagy Fund and donations. If you would like to make a donation for next year’s awards, please make your check payable to AAUW Wagy Fund/Amer01 and mail to: GKCCF (Greater Kansas City Community Foundation), Attn: LaVon Colhour, Manager of Corporate Services, 1055 Broadway Blvd., Suite 130, Kansas City, MO 64105.

2018 Thorpe Menn Literary Excellence Award Recap


Over 100 local authors and guests gathered at the Kansas City Central Library for the 40th Thorpe Menn Literary Excellence Award luncheon on October 6. The award was established in 1979 by AAUW-KC to honor Thorpe Menn, a longtime book editor at The Kansas City Star. He supported all aspects of Kansas City’s cultural life, especially local authors and artists.

The 2018 Thorpe Menn award was presented to Carey Gillam for her book, Whitewash: The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer, and the Corruption of Science. The first runner up was Maril Crabtree for her book of poetry, Fireflies in the Gathering Dark; and the second runner up was Jen Mann for My Lame Life: Queen of the Misfits.

Special thanks to award-winning author Loring Leifer who captivated the audience with her keynote address, “Confessions of a Collaborator: My Career as a Cold-Blooded Writer”; Crosby Kemper who welcomed everyone and spoke about the direction of the library and the true powers of women; and Genealogist and AAUW member Kathleen Brandt our presenter and storyteller for the day.

We are already making plans for our 41st annual event set for October 2019. If you would like to nominate an author, please go to the Thorpe Menn page under “Events” for guidelines and instructions. The deadline for nominations is May 1, 2019.

Congratulations to the 2018 Thorpe Menn Literary Excellence Award Nominees:
Mountain Lines: A Journey through the French Alps
Jonathan Arlan
Dark Side of the Museum
Randy Attwood
We Seek Asylum
Gustavo Adolfo Aybar
Well of the Three Sisters: A Presumption of Death
Ron Benedict
Changing the Tune: The Kansas City Women’s Jazz Festival, 1978-1985
Carolyn Glenn Brewer
Fireflies in the Gathering Dark
Maril Crabtree
Our Fathers: Making Black Men
Lewis W. Diuguid
Whitewash: The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer, and the Corruption of Science
Carey Gillam
The Servitude of Love
Diane Glancy
Diane Glancy
Murder Wears Mittens
Sally Goldenbaum
Fowl Language: The Struggle Is Real
Brian Gordon
A Storied Life: Tales of Toil & Grace
Ozella Hampton
The Great Puppy Invasion
Alastair Heim
Navigating a Life: Henry Bloch in World War II
John Herron and Mary Ann Wynkoop
Fairy Floss: The Sweet Story of Cotton Candy
Ann Ingalls
Mayor Sly and the Magic Bow Tie: A Kansas City Adventure
Aja James, Audrey Masoner and Mayor Sly James
Soaring With Vultures
Dan Kelly
Noelle: A Novel
Greg Kincaid
My Lame Life: Queen of the Misfits
Jen Mann
Working with People I Want to Punch in the Throat: Cantankerous Clients, Micromanaging Minions, and Other Supercilious Scourges
Jen Mann
Working with Really Stupid People: The Congregants
Cindy McDermott
One Hundred Years’ Journey: The Greenway Fields Neighborhood
Elizabeth Noble, Ph.D. and LaDene Morton
Feet of the Messenger
H.C. Palmer
Hemingway at Eighteen: The Pivotal Year That Launched an American Legend
Steve Paul
Last Call: The History of Kansas City’s CODA Jazz Fund
Steve Penn
As It Is, When It Was
Brandon Pomeroy
The Lost Tribes: Safe Harbor
Christine Taylor-Butler
Waking on the Moon
Alarie Tennille
To The Land of Opportunity: A Grandfather’s Journey
George Varghese, M.D.
Hidden History of Kansas
Adrian Zink

2017 Wagy Awards Recap:

The Wagy Awards & Holiday Luncheon took place on  December 2 at the Grand Street Café.  This year’s event marked our 20th presentation of the Wagy Awards, which gives funding to local community organizations for their work in advancing education and equity for women and girls. A total of 85 awards have been presented and $225,575 in Wagy funds have been provided over the past two decades, including this year’s five recipients and awards totaling $10,000.

The 2017 Wagy award recipients and programs:

• Episcopal Community Services – Nourish: Turning the Tables Empowering Women through Culinary Training

• Girl Scouts of NE Kansas & NW Missouri – STEM Girls Outreach Program

• The Family Conservancy – Directors Leadership Academy

• Women’s Foundation of Greater Kansas City – The Appointment Project: Equitable Representation of Women on Civic Boards and Commissions

• Fractured Atlas – Rightfully Sewn Seamstress Program

2017 Reentry Scholarship Recipients

On April 22 the Kansas City InterBranch Council presented the annual Reentry Woman of the Year Award to six outstanding women who returned to the college classroom after an absence of five or more years. While all applicants were worthy candidates, these six women best exemplified the courage and personal resolve to overcome significant barriers to pursue their academic, career and life goals. Each of these women aspires to make a difference in the lives of others and in their community.
The 2017 IBC Reentry Award recipients are (l-r) Stephanie Leonard, Nursing and Marcia Princivalli, Mortuary Science, Kansas City Kansas Community College (KCKCC); Amy Hill-Koleiny, Teaching, MCC-Penn Valley; Nancy Russell, Occupational Therapy, MCC-Longview; Toni Thornton Award recipients: Jiatong Lynch, Accounting, Park University and Debbie Plake, Paralegal Studies, KCKCC.