• Saying thanks to those who have done much for schools

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  • The communities of Independence, Sugar Creek and Blue Summit have had quite a year.
    The process of pounding the pavement in August’s blistering heat while petitioning citizens to put the school district boundary issue on last November’s ballot, persevering through the complex campaign, celebrating the positive vote on the Independence Square on a frigid night, anxiously enduring the courtroom conflict impacting the transfer of property, and finally pitching in during summer’s hottest days to renew and ready the buildings for school’s start are enough to fatigue even the most energetic volunteer. Despite the exhausting series of events that have lead to the opening day of the 2008-09 academic year, citizen-volunteers have been plentiful; willing and able to help with any task.
    In appreciation of the overwhelming effort put forth by the community over the last year, the Independence School District is rewarding the volunteers who assisted along the way with a Volunteer Appreciation Gala from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday at Nowlin Middle School, 2800 S. Hardy Ave. The district notified the volunteers of the event ahead of time.
    Hosted by Superintendent Jim Hinson and other distinguished community leaders, the evening event will include a pizza dinner, live entertainment, games, giveaways and prizes. Preceding the gala, tours of the schools will be offered from 12:30-3:30 p.m.
    On Saturday, Sept. 20 the leadership of the school district boundary change that has made history and become among the most important regional news stories of the year will be honored at the Truman Heartland Community Foundation Gala at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Kansas City.
    Superintendent Jim Hinson, state Sen. Victor Callahan, attorney Steve Mauer and the Rev. Bob Spradling, pastor of Maywood Baptist Church, have been selected by Mayor Don Reimal to receive the prestigious Citizen of the Year Award representing the city of Independence.
    The dynamic team collaborated to orchestrate the course of action necessary to allow citizens of the Independence and Kansas City school districts the opportunity to determine school boundaries through a popular vote and has remained at the forefront of the issue through its exciting and often tumultuous progression. Collectively providing the legislative, legal and educational expertise essential to the endeavor the foursome also supplied the emotional and spiritual leadership that has sustained the communities’ energy through the election and transfer process.
    Information on the Truman Heartland Community Foundation Gala can be found at www.thcf.org or by calling 816-836-8189. Corporate Sponsorship packages and individual tickets are available to participate in celebrating the achievements of Kansas City and its eastern suburbs.

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