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The Independent’s 2020 Top Ten Party

Each of the individuals selected to be honored in The Independent’s 2020 Class of Rising Stars were big dreamers about professional success, but more importantly about giving back to our community. Heartfelt congratulations were given to the seven honorees, Ruth Brackney, Jason Carter-Solomon, Chuck Cuda, Chris Miller, Bess Wallerstein Huff, India Williams, and Jason Wright, at a festive gathering at the 1900 Building on February 20th. Partygoers dined on fantastic fare from Lon Lane’s Inspired Occasions. Also recognized were Our Town’s non-profit organizations that were honored during The Top Ten Events of 2019 presentation.

Alpha-Lit KC lit up the 1900 Building.


Hannah Neel and Paige Engle, Big Brothers Big Sisters KC; flanked India Williams, 2020 Rising Star.


Joan Cabell, Alzheimer’s Association; and Joanne Schafer


Brick Huffman, Boy Scouts of America; Eric Chinnery, and Ryan Shriver


Anne and Norbert Russ with Lisa Shea


Kirk Williams and Jo Anne Gabbert with Julie Kaul and Jason Roth, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City


Missy Accurso and David Accurso, featured artist


Chuck Cuda, 2020 Rising Star; with Denise Wiese and Megan Clemens,
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society; and Darren Taylor


Shawn and Holly Mihal, Ruth Brackney, 2020 Rising Star; and Joyce Layman


Nancy and Ed Wallerstein


Lara Klover and Jessica Kerrigan, Jackson County CASA


Vincent Anch, Catholic Education Foundation; and Enrique Chavez, Diamonds Direct


Theresa Gaul, Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas; and Kerry Gentry Hartnett


Polly Kramer, Erik Bergrud, and Kassie Sands, MOCSA


Sarah Pence Bloss, Amy Castillo, and Gemma Zook, Ability KC


Tracy Mattis, KidsTLC, Jenny and Jason Wright, 2020 Rising Star; Dr. Erin Dugan, KidsTLC; and Bob Dunn


Kimberly Wilkerson and Micheal Lawrence, Big Brothers Big Sisters KC


Laurence Freeman, Rockhurst High School; and Dr. Patrick and Shannon Lillis


Maddy McClure, Big Brothers Big Sisters KC; and Jill Harlan


Robin Levine, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society; and Julie Schlueter, JDRF


Olga Elmanovich, Diamonds Direct; with Ruth Brackney, 2020 Rising Star


Erin McNamara and Paige Seidel, ALS Association


Paola Rivera and Erica Kiehnhoff, American Heart Association


Amanda Nichols and Shelli Jaye, American Heart Association


Jessica Kerrigan, Lara Klover, Tahir Atwater, and Angie Blumel, Jackson County CASA; flanked Mira Mdivani.


Dr. Dred Scott, Boys & Girls Clubs of GKC; and Jo Anne Gabbert with Julie Kaul and Jason Roth,
Boys & Girls Clubs of GKC


Polly Kramer, Kassie Sands, MOCSA; and Erik Bergrud and Kimberlee Ried


Kelsie Fell and Lynette Wheeler, TMC Foundation


Allison Malott, Ronald McDonald House Charities


Ashley Osborn and Allison Chael, First Hand Foundation


Kristy Ladd Culp, CCVI


Olga Elmanovich, Diamonds Direct; and India Williams, 2020 Rising Star


Tammy Butterfield and Victoria Bezzole, The University of Kansas Health System


Vincent Anch and Amy Meara, Catholic Education Foundation; Shannon and Dr. Patrick Lillis, and Derek Teeter


Olga Elmanovich, Diamonds Direct; and Jason Wright, 2020 Rising Star


2020 Class of Rising Stars: Ruth Brackney, Jason Carter-Solomon, Chuck Cuda,
Bess Wallerstein Huff, India Williams, and Jason Wright
(out of camera range) Chris Miller

Additional photos featured in the March 7, 2020 issue of The Independent
Photo Credit: Bailey Pianalto Photography


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