Chamber announces 2015 Hall of Fame inductees
A military veteran who has gone above and beyond the call of duty to take care of his fellow veterans.
A former Holton High School teacher who has taken his love of science not only to the community, but also to the stars.
A Soldier couple who turned a working ranch into an opportunity to promote agricultural tourism in Kansas and across the country.
A Prairie Band Potawatomi tribal official who worked tirelessly to bridge relations between Jackson County and his fellow Potawatomis.
These five people — respectively, Brad Stauffer, Mike Ford, Bill and Debra Brown and the late Jim Potter — have been selected as the 10th round of inductees into the Holton/Jackson County Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame, it was announced earlier this week. They will be honored at the annual Hall of Fame Banquet, tentatively scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015.
Stauffer, a 1964 graduate of Holton High School and Purple Heart recipient, is being honored for his work as a veterans’ rights advocate, not only in Jackson County but for the state of Kansas. He has helped with Memorial Day services at the county’s cemeteries, serves as Holton’s VFW post commander and owns and operates Jackson County Locksmith.
After retiring from HHS in 2008 after teaching science for 15 years, Ford continued in earnest the work he began with the Elk Creek Observatory and worked to expand it into the Banner Creek Observatory and Science Center southwest of Holton. He continues to be involved in education as a member of the Holton USD 336 school board.
The Browns own and operate Red Rock Guest Ranch, a bed and breakfast lodge east of Soldier that has drawn visitors from across the nation and hosted popular country entertainment shows for nearly five years. They have also been active proponents of “agri-tourism” and raised purebred Limousin cattle, but they are also well-known as community servants in the Soldier area.
Potter served the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation for 18 years on the Nation’s Tribal Council, the last eight years as secretary, working to bring the Prairie Band Casino and Resort (formerly Harrah’s) into the county and acting as a link between county and tribal officials. Potter, who was killed in a traffic accident this past June, is also recognized as a contributor to Banner Creek Science Center and an organizer of the tribe’s annual powwow.
Previous years’ Hall of Fame inductees have included:
■ 2006: John Chiles, Homer Clark (deceased), Bud Geis (deceased) and Frank Gilliland.
■ 2007: Jim Birkbeck, Scott Foster, Harold Ireland (deceased) and Vestina Nonken (deceased).
■ 2008: Ron Anderson, Tom Davies (Volunteer of the Year), Ross (deceased) and Betty Moser, and Marlin White (deceased).
■ 2009: Warren E. Bottenberg (deceased), Robert Brown, Carolyn Koger and the Jackson County Friends of Hospice (Volunteer of the Year).
■ 2010: Neva Heiselman, Roger and Cindy Hower, Pat McClintock (deceased) and Dan Mehringer (Volunteer of the Year).
■ 2011: Gary Bell, Dr. Joel Hutchins, Anna Wilhelm and Freda Galer (Volunteer of the Year).
■ 2012: George Gantz (deceased), Francis Jensen, Judy Olson, Janet Zwonitzer and Joannie Dannenberg and Betty Flemming (Volunteers of the Year).
■ 2013: J. Richard Lake, Wayne and Gladys Ogilvie, Cathleen Reed and Gloria Stavropoulos.
■ 2014: Dr. Carlos Chavez (deceased), Roy Hale and Rich and Lynne Mulroy.
Feature stories on this year’s inductees are planned for upcoming editions of The Holton Recorder.