Friends, family, fellow classmates, executive directors of sister organizations, community partners, faith community, government dignitaries , funders, members of the board and staff gathered, Fri., June 28, to celebrate the retirement and “beautiful career journey” of LaDora Lattimore, executive director/CEO of Friends of Yates, Kansas City, KS.
A women's shelter and advocacy group for domestic violence survivors, Friends of Yates has served the Kansas City, Kansas and Greater Metropolitan area for 106 years, with Lattimore serving at the helm for 39 of those years.
Guests shared cherished memories and spoke to the legacy Lattimore is leaving the community. Under her tenure, the organization grew and flourished. Some of her accomplishments included: the transition of the dissolution of the Yates branch YWCA to Friends of Yates sovereignty, developing the Black Men and Women of Distinction Program, in honor of Black History Month, the Crime Awareness Coordinating Effort (C.A.C.E) and the only comprehensive domestic violence program in Wyandotte County.
Lattimore managed multiple expansions and renovations, the most recent being the completion of the Della Gill/Joyce H. Williams Center for victims of domestic violence and their children, which doubled the facility’s bed capacity from 22 to 44 beds.
Throughout her career, Lattimore has served on and led numerous boards and community organizations. In her retirement, she will continue some of her love of sharing and caring.
The celebration, held at the Kansas City Community College Technology Center, included dinner and a program of music and, of course, fond memories, laughs and well wishes for Lattimore. Some of those on the program included: Gerald Hall and Carolynn Washington, who served as master and mistress of ceremony, Pastor Dr. Robert Baynham, Yates Board President Josephy Taylor. Musical talent included Paul Burnett, Dr. Vernard Johnson, and W. Timothy Bailey. The list of speakers and well-wishers was lengthy and included some of the community’s largest names in government, religion, business and community outreach.