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2022 BOTAR President – Amy Ball Polen

Amy Ball Polen is serving as the president of BOTAR this year – and her recollections of the event date back to when her sisters, Jennifer Ball Jones and Melinda Ball Roper, were participants in 1981 and 1986, respectively. “Some of my best memories were when my sisters were BOTARs, and I got to see them on the dance floor before I was even a BOTAR,” she said. “The beautiful Ball traditions were so awe-inspiring that I honestly thought it was a magical night!”

Amy is a BOTAR, class of 1991. Her fondest memories are of the time she spent with old and new friends. Amy will always treasure the special bond she made with her fellow BOTARs during the many nights of rehearsals and fun events. Through the years, Amy has appreciated the partnership between the American Royal and BOTAR and its rich history filled with one-of-a-kind traditions.

The BOTARs of 2022 will spend time together at the World Series of BBQ and at the Livestock Show, which are two of the American Royal’s signature events. Funds raised by the Ball support the American Royal’s mission. Members of BOTAR lead tours of the agricultural events for grade school students on field trips. In addition, BOTAR partners with the Agriculture Future of America to provide Presidential scholarships for young women in our region who are studying for an undergraduate degree in agriculture.

In the decades since she made her bow as a BOTAR, Amy has remained active with the organization. In addition to being chairman of several committees, she was the vice president of public relations in 2006 and the vice president of BOTAR in 2019. It was a family affair in 2012, when Amy was vice president of The BOTAR Ball, and her daughter, Annalie Polen, was a BOTAR Page.

(Front row) Annalie Polen, BOTAR Page (back row) Joan Ryan Ball, Amy Ball Polen, Melinda Ball Roper, and Jennifer Ball Jones at the 2012 BOTAR Ball

Amy is thrilled that all of this year’s Pages have grandmothers who were BOTARs. The idea of the entwining of generations and longtime traditions is meaningful to her. As she noted, “I am so excited that several girls from recent classes are involved in all aspects of the organization. From the minute younger BOTARs get involved, it connects them to our community, peers, and our multigenerational members who support them and one another.”           

The BOTAR Ball will be held on October 15th at the Muehlebach Tower of the Kansas City Marriott Downtown.  

Featured in the August 20, 2022 issue of The Independent.
By Heather N. Paxton

Heather N. Paxton

Heather N. Paxton’s name first appeared in The Independent in a birth announcement back in — oh, never mind. In the mid-1990s, Heather joined the staff as a replacement for a friend who was expecting a visit from the stork. (Let’s hope Heather sent a baby present. The boy is a college graduate now.) Her 20s, 30s, 40s, and now her 50s: Heather has been a staff member for at least brief periods in all of these decades. She is most at home in the office when she is perusing the archives.

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