Community Service Award

Sep 03 · Alejo Cabral

According to Merriam-Webster, community service is defined as “work that is done without pay to help people in a community.” Our finalists have done just that and more in Wichita.

W’s Community Service Award, presented by Evergy, is awarded to a W member who is distinguished by their record of service to their community. They have engaged in continuing efforts to preserve and promote Wichita through their time, service, and talents.

Join us in celebrating our 2020 Community Service Award Finalists.

Andy McFayden, Executive Director, Strategic Communications with WSU Tech

What was your favorite college memory?

My favorite college memory was when was hired for a student work study position the spring term of my freshmen year. I was attending Cowley County Community College and I went to work for my first boss outside of my high school bowling alley job. My boss was Sheree Utash. I remember having the opportunity to see the behind the scenes operations of a college for the first time. My daily job duties ranged from dangling off of ladders changing fluorescent light bulbs, making copies for instructors as they scurried to and from classes and syncing her palm pilot. It’s difficult to believe that was over twenty years ago. That is what kindled my love of higher education.

If you had to choose an Olympic sport to compete in what would it be?

All of my friends, family and colleagues are VERY aware that I am not a guy that plays sportsing and sports-ball of any sort! LOL. Many folks are not aware that bowling is an olympic sport and there are so many fantastic bowlers out there that make a living in this competitive sport. My twin brother bowled for the Wichita State University collegiate bowling team the first year they won a national title. I am so proud of my twin brother Matt. He rocks out a full time job at Textron Aviation these days and is the reason my best friends, my nephew Lucas Matthew and my niece Hannah Rene are the lights of my life. I digress… If I had to choose an olympic sport to compete in, it would be bowling. While I would totally be awful in professional bowling, I think I could probably school the general citizen in a game of bowling. LOL. Go Sportsing!

Becca Newman, Executive Director with Wichita Police Foundation

What was your first job as a kid?

The summer after I turned fourteen, I started babysitting to pay for my school clothes. I’d get up early and ride my bike about a mile down the road to my neighbor’s house where I took care of their two-year-old and 3-month-old daughters. I have loved working with children ever since. There is something really special about the way they see the world.

What was your favorite college memory?

One of my favorite college memories was spending 3 months in Florida for an internship at Disney World.

The pay wasn’t great and the hours were long but to this day it’s one of my favorite experiences. I worked the early shift so I arrived at Epcot before the gates opened. No crowds, no lines, just myself and a few other cast members. It was like I had the entire park to myself. Then, when the gates opened, I watched the park come alive. People of all ages excitedly walking toward our ride, Living with the Land. As a boat tour guide, each trip brought a new opportunity to have a conversation with people from all over the world.

Something else that I will never forget about my time at Disney was a mural of quotes next to our boat ride. One quote in particular really resonated with me. So much so that I took a picture of it. More than 10 years later, the picture of the quote still hangs on my wall. “I may be only one person, but I can be one person who makes a difference.” Vadra Grace, age 10, Kentucky.

Tadonne Neal, Board Chair with Community Operations Recovery Empowerment

If someone were to ride in your car, what would they hear?

If someone were to ride in my car they would most likely hear “The Breakfast Club” Podcast playing.

What is the most recent book you’ve read? What did you like/learn from it?

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson

I learned that mercy and grace are necessities when working in the criminal justice system. A favorite quote by Bryan Stevenson says “Mercy is most empowering, liberating, and transformative when it is directed at the undeserving. The people who haven’t earned it, who haven’t even sought it, are the most meaningful recipients of our compassion.”

Thank you to our award sponsor

Join us virtually for Founders’ Week, September 8 through 11, to find out who is named the recipient of the Community Service Award.

Founders' Day W News