“IF YOUR ACTIONS INSPIRE OTHERS TO
DREAM MORE AND BECOME MORE,
YOU ARE A LEADER.”
John Quincy Adams
Many years ago a Kansas woman had a dream. Being in love with her native state she wanted to share it with others who are her neighbors and beyond. With an imaginative father and a whim they started a gathering at their farm near Inman to share Kansas with others. She spent more than two years traveling to every spot in Kansas that had something interesting and a good place to eat and created a Kansas travel guide book.
I have too little space here to list all that she has done for Kansas and many already know who I am talking about. This woman has been a friend for more years than I can really remember. She is a person that I sound ideas off of and always get an honest and kind answer. She is one of a group who give me support even when my ideas are a bit off the wall. She has nurtured in me a love of Kansas that is even more than I had. Now she has been recognized in one more way for her work.
When you say Kansas Sampler Foundation, Kansas Sampler Festival, Kansas Guide Book, 8 Wonders of Kansas, Big Rural Brainstorm, the Kansas Sampler Center, and much more you know I am talking about Marci Penner.
Marci has been recognized by the Kansas University Emily Taylor Center for Women with their PIONEER WOMAN award. The center started in the mid 1960’s and they honor outstanding women from KU and from Kansas. The definition of the award is for “women who are exemplary, who have made historic contributions local and state.”
Every April an awards banquet is held to honor those who have made the contributions to Kansas and Kansas women. I find no other that is more qualified for the honor. She would not say that though. In this case it has to be said by all of us.
Marci and I are not particularly on the same plane concerning politics, but then we don’t discuss the subject much. Only when there is a concern about the state of rural Kansas and what is good for all of us. We always have so much to talk about in common there is no time for differences.
What sets Marci apart from many is her sense of humor, tolerance, and a personality that allows her to talk to any one, consider their viewpoint, and take an action rather than sit and talk about it. She has never been afraid to reinvent herself or the Kansas Sampler, or try something new.
I want to add my voice to the chorus of CONGRATULATIONS that are going around the state right now. Congratulations Pioneer Woman Marci Penner!