TOPEKA — Kansas Native Sons and Daughters, in partnership with the Kansas Historical Society, presented awards to the winners of the Olive Ann Beech Memorial Awards and Mamie Boyd Memorial Awards. The awards were presented Friday evening, January 28th, at the Kansas Native Sons and Daughters annual banquet in the Sunflower Room of Maner Conference Center. Kansas Historical Society Executive Director Jennie Chinn presented the awards.
The Olive Ann Beech Memorial Awards go to winners of the Kansas Factual Story Contest, open to Kansans of all ages who write a factual, unpublished anecdote or happening from the life of a Kansan. The winners receive cash awards and their writings become part of the permanent collections of the Kansas Historical Society. The award is named in honor of aviation entrepreneur Olive Ann Beech of Wichita, named Kansan of the Year in 1957 by Kansas Native Sons and Daughters. Beech provided the annual cash awards for more than 30 years. Since her death, her daughter, Mary Lynn Oliver of Wichita, has provided the financial gift to fund the prizes for each winner.
This year’s winners are: (first place award of $175) Linda S. Hubbard, Topeka, Shopping at G-Mart; (second place award of $125) Sheryl Brenn, Levant, Gooch Red Circles; (third place award of $100) Karen Ridder, Topeka, One Last Ride; (honorable mention award of $50) Christine Kramer, Topeka, It Was a Stormy Kansas Day; and (honorable mention award of $50) Carmen Duran-Martinez, Topeka, Our Diverse Neighborhood.
The Mamie Boyd Memorial Awards go to winners of an essay contest, open to Kansas students grade 8-12. The award is named in honor of newspaper publisher Mamie Boyd of Mankato and Phillipsburg, who coined the phrase, “Kansas! Say It Above a Whisper,” the theme of the essay contest. Since 1976, Boyd’s family has honored her by providing the financial gift to fund the prizes for the first place winner.
This year’s winners are: (first place award of $200) Hosanna Fortmeyer, Hiawatha High School; (second place) Leah Hill, Jackson Heights High School; (third place) Sophia Evans, Baxter Springs High School; and (honorable mention) Dakota Wilkison, Phillipsburg Middle School.
All youth award winners attended the awards banquet, with the exception of Evans, who is trying to maintain her perfect school attendance record. She would have had to leave school early to attend the banquet.
A panel of Kansas Historical Society staff members judged all contest entries. For more information on these annual contests, visit the Kansas Native Sons and Daughters website at ksnativesonsanddaughters.org .
The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency that operates the Kansas Museum of History, State Archives & Library, Kansas Capitol Tour Center, and 16 state historic sites. For more information visit kshs.org.