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KCKCC Endowment Association Announces 4.0 Gala Award Recipients

by College Relations
Thursday, August 14, 2014
Kansas City Kansas Community College’s Endowment Association is gearing up for its 4.0 Gala this fall by announcing the recipients of two awards – the KCKCC Distinguished Alumni of the Year Award and the Wyandotte Countian of the Year Award.

Kansas City Kansas Community College’s Endowment Association is gearing up for its 4.0 Gala this fall by announcing the recipients of two awards – the KCKCC Distinguished Alumni of the Year Award and the Wyandotte Countian of the Year Award.

The purpose of the Wyandotte Countian of the Year Award is to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to the Wyandotte community. To qualify for the Distinguished Alumni of the Year Award, nominees must have either attended or graduated from Kansas City Kansas Community College. Karen Orr, Chief Nursing Officer at Providence Medical Center, will be awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award while former Kansas City, Kansas Mayor Joe Reardon, has been chosen to receive the Wyandotte Countian of the Year Award. The two awards will be a part of the Endowment Association's 4.0 Gala Oct. 25 at Lake Quivira.

“As Mayor/CEO (from 2005-2013), Joe guided the Unified Government through very tough economic times while at the same time, managing a significant amount of growth and investment in Wyandotte County,” said Pam Curtis in her nomination letter. “He led Wyandotte County on a continued economic renaissance with work ranging from local redevelopment to some of the most impactful work in the country.”

Reardon is currently an attorney at McAnany, Van Cleave & Phillips, specializing in development and real estate transactions. A lifelong resident of Kansas City, Kansas, he and his wife Amy have two sons. Among his many accomplishments are receiving the Kansas Mayor of the Year Award in 2012; the Public Administrator of the Year 2012; the KCMBA President’s Award for Outstanding Service to the Bar, 2011 and the Community Broadband Project of the Year, 2011 Government Programming Awards. He founded the Healthy Communities Wyandotte Initiative to improve health conditions in Wyandotte County and is known for putting Kansas City, Kansas on the map as the first Google Fiber City.

Orr is a 1986 graduate of Washington High School and a 1993 graduate of KCKCC. She has a Master of Science degree in nursing and is a Certified Med Surge RN. During her time at Providence Medical Center, she has developed and implemented the leadership and clinical quality at the joint and Spine Center and has been instrumental in leading staff to create an innovative pain management system. She has also developed a Student Nurse Tech Program, offering employment to nursing students who have earned their CNA and are pursuing a RN degree. Away from her medical career, she and her husband assist with Sunday School and restore cars to enter them into competitions.

“After graduating from Washington High School, I had plans to go to KCKCC for two years for an accounting degree, and then transfer to Washburn University for a law degree. I began the accounting program and did my best to stay interested, but soon realized that I really didn’t like math all that much,” Orr said. “I began taking classes again at KCKCC, thinking that I might consider nursing someday. I graduated in December of 1993. I’ll never forget how it felt to write ‘RN’ behind my name for the first time. Had it not been for the location, flexibility, affordability and support of KCKCC, I don’t think I would have continued after the birth of my child.”

AT&T has committed to be the Presenting Sponsor at the 4.0 Gala. In addition to AT&T, Capitol Federal and Bank of Blue Valley have signed on as major sponsors of the event.

”We are very excited about hosting the first ever 4.0 Gala for KCKCC,” said Patrick McCartney, executive director of the Endowment Association. “Along with being a major fundraiser for much needed scholarships for students at KCKCC, we hope to make the 4.0 Gala one of the premier events in Kansas City. We anticipate selling out quickly, and we encourage people to get their reservations in a soon as possible.”

For more information about the 4.0 Gala, contact Dawanna Fangohr at 913-288-7675 or by email at dfangohr@kckcc.edu.

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