Outstanding people in our community

Guest columnistJuly 11, 2014 

Your Community Foundation’s 19th Toast to Our Towns Gala will be Sept. 6 where we once again will celebrate and recognize outstanding people who make this a great community. It truly is an Eastern Jackson County celebration bringing together all of the communities in this region with seven area mayors recognizing their Citizen of the Year.

While they are referred to as a Citizen of the Year, according to the mayors, the recognition is for a long-term commitment to the community. The award recognizes people who have devoted countless hours and provided support to many causes, commissions and projects over many years. They are people that can always be counted on to offer their support, roll up their sleeves and get involved, simply because they love their community. They have a community service spirit, and when asked about their service often just respond “Isn’t that what everyone should do?”

Mayor Randy Rhoads from Lee’s Summit is pleased to recognize the Tominia Family as his Citizens of the Year. The family owns Cameron’s Home Furnishings, a successful furniture retailer in downtown Lee’s Summit since 2001. As business owners the whole family quickly became active members with the Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street organization.

Steve Tominia has served on the DLSMS Board for 12 years and chaired the board the year the Lee’s Summit downtown was recognized as with the Great American Main Street Award. His wife Sue and daughters Amy Robertson and Gina Seibel are each very active volunteers at numerous DLSMS events and Amy has been recognized as their volunteer of the year twice. Gina serves as the director of communications for the Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce which was recognized earlier this year as a Five-Star Chamber of Commerce, the highest rating given by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The Citizens of the year from the other communities in Eastern Jackson County are: Blue Springs; Ted and Betty Meyer, Grain Valley; Allen Lefko, Independence: Jill and Bill Esry, Raytown; Mike McDonough, Sugar Creek; Herb Soule.

Prior to our Sept. 6 gala, we are going to have special reception in August just for the Citizens of the Year at Mayor Matt Mallinson’s family vineyard on North River Boulevard in Sugar Creek. This Citizens Reception is always a great gathering where the mayors can share their personal stories and personally thank these individuals who are doing so much for their communities. Please join me in congratulating the 2014 Class of our Citizens of the Year. Your Community Foundation is pleased to provide the opportunity to recognize these fabulous community champions.


Phil Hanson has been the president of the Truman Heartland Community foundation since January 2010. Raised in the Raytown area, he went to Rockhurst University for his undergraduate and UMKC for his MPA.

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