The Whole Person is celebrating seven extraordinary award recipients who exemplify The Whole Person’s mission of connecting people with all types of disabilities to the resources they need to live independently.

The Night of Independence Gala will take place from 7 to 11 p.m. Sept. 15, at The Gallery Event Space, 61 E. 14th St., in the Power & Light District. Attendees will enjoy dinner, dancing, cash bar, live and silent auctions, balloon pop, and music by “Sellout.”

The keynote speaker will be Nyle DiMarco, an actor, model and activist. Nyle, a native New Yorker, was born into a large multi-generational deaf family; he has more than 25 family members who are deaf. Nyle was taught American Sign Language and English from birth. He is the first deaf person to win America’s Next Top Model and Dancing with the Stars. As founder of the Nyle DiMarco Foundation and an honorary spokesman for Language Equality and Acquisition for Deaf Kids, Nyle is passionate about language, literacy, and advocacy within the deaf community.

This year’s award recipients include: Civic Leader Award: City of Independence; Individual Award: Erin Brown; Corporate Award: Synchrony Financial; Volunteer of the Year Award: Jeremy Tercey; Corporate Volunteer Group of the Year Award: Netsmart, Andrew Mersman; Paul H. Levy Founders Award: David Westbrook; Lifetime Achievement Award: Candice Minear.

To purchase tickets, contact Terri Goddard at or call 816-627-2220. You may also register at