Culture, character and prosperity

Lee's Summit JournalJanuary 17, 2014 

It has now become a tradition in Lee’s Summit. Each year ends with the well-known three major celebrations: Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year. That seems not tiring enough for this City. Lee’s Summit has created or adopted other three major celebrations to start each New Year and make it another prosperous one.

The first of the events is historical and cultural, the second, character and the third, business. They are respectively: the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday celebration Jan. 20, The Mayor’s Character Breakfast Jan. 24, and the Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner Jan. 25. All three events are take place each year at the same location, the magnificent Pavilion at John Knox Village.

I personally look forward to actively participating in these three heart-lifting events. The organizers believe that launching these celebrations so early in the year profoundly set the stage for everyone in the city to embrace the expectations this community has for its citizens: Cultural diversity, character development, and business prosperity. Let’s look at what this year is offering:

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday celebration opens the cycle from 5-9 p.m. The event is sponsored by the Lee’s Summit Human Relations Commission. Most of us know that King was a champion of civil rights, equality, harmony, character, and peace. We also know that King’s dream was not a dream for blacks, whites, or Hispanic, Asians or Indians, poor or rich, young or old. King’s dream was a humanitarian dream, for all. This year, the HRC decided to focus on another “dream” of King’s, healthcare, which was his big concern before his death. The theme for this year’s event is, “Taking Strides to a Healthier You.” Health & wealth information will be provided, fitness activities will be conducted, and much more. This event is free and opened to the public.

The second major event of the year is the Mayor’s Character Breakfast Jan. 24. It is a celebration of character organized by Lee’s Summit Cares, lead by Roby Little. Lee’s Summit Cares’ mission is “To strengthen our community by promoting, encouraging and equipping the development of character in every sector of the community.” During the event, LSC will recognize an “Ethics in Business Award,” “Lifetime Award,” and 10 “Recipient of Character” awards.

LSC has assigned a character trait to each calendar month so the community can learn more about ways to highlight that trait all year around. Ranging from January to December, the 12 pillars of character are: Courage, Cooperation, Honesty, Perseverance, Appreciation, Sportsmanship, Citizenship, Family, Respect, Responsibility, Self-Control, and Kindness. To connect this celebration to the precedent, Lee’s Summit Cares strongly believes that, “It takes character to truly value diversity. It takes diversity to build true character.”

The third event this community celebrates this month is the Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce Annual Gala and Auction. The Chamber, lead by President Nancy Bruns, is the driving force for business prosperity in this community. The Chamber presents the evening as “A night for mingling, dining and dazzling performances” where participants will shop at a multiple-items auction, enjoy a delicious three-course meal and Broadway-inspired musical performances.

I am already looking forward to another trio-celebration in January 2015. You too can mark your calendar right now. In the meantime, have a 2014 full of cultural enlightenment, character building and personal prosperity.

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Emmanuel Ngomsi, Ph.D.is President of All World Languages and Cultures, Inc. He educates and coaches on issues of cultures and diversity. He can be reached at info@universalhighways.

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