A capacity crowd of nearly 160 participants attended the City of Olathe’s Community Awards held Thursday evening, Oct. 15 at the Olathe Community Center. The awards, presented by the City’s Human Relations Commission and Persons with Disabilities Advisory Boards, celebrate and honor Olathe businesses, organizations and individuals who actively contribute to the advancement or promotion of human rights in Olathe.
George Dunmore, a lifelong advocate for African-American racial and social justice was recognized with a Humanitarian Award. Dunmore is an original member of the Olathe Human Relations Commission.
James West, received posthumous Humanitarian Award. West, a former Buffalo Soldier, was a long-time Olathe Human Relations Commission supporter whose life inspired reforms to combat racial inequity.
Other Humanitarian Award recipients were:
Gary Kendall, former Indian Creek Community Church senior pastor, and
Angela Parks, youth librarian at the Olathe Public Library who started Olathe’s Meet and Eat summer lunch program for food insecure children and families.
Other honorees included:
Educator Award — Jason Herman, Olathe North Principal
Business Person Award – Darren Odum, Olathe Health Director of Business Development
Youth Award — Amanda Yoksh and Daytona Hodson
Accessible Awards — Bryan Regan and Jennifer O’Gorman
The free event included a buffet dinner provided by Pinstripes and music provided by a Peruvian Band Ayllu. Laurie Minard, VP of Human Resources at Garmin, was the keynote speaker.
The mission of the Olathe Human Relations Commission is to build bridges between the diverse groups in Olathe, fostering cooperation and understanding, and breaking down barriers of discrimination and ignorance through outreach, education, and advocacy.
For 13 years OHRC has honored unsung heroes in Olathe doing the work of this lofty mission.