Blog | 2021 We Kan! Award winners announced

2021 We Kan! Award winners announced

The Kansas Sampler Foundation announced the recipients of the 29th annual We Kan! Awards which are presented as appreciation for dedicated work in helping preserve and sustain rural culture.

Marci Penner, director of the Inman-based non-profit, said, "These award winners aren't chosen from an application process. These are people we notice because of their good work over time or for how they impact their community or state in a unique manner."

Given at the Kansas Sampler Festival for many years, the awards are now handed-out in surprise fashion, often with a flash-mob of local supporters and family in attendance.  

The fifth and final 2021 award was recently presented to Karla Fleming, Mankato (Changing the tide). Other recipients for 2021 were Marilyn Jones, Peabody (You’ve made a difference); Grant Neuhold, Kiowa County Media Center, Greensburg (Media guru and Good Guy); Sharolyn Wagner, Bennington (For “treating” us all so superbly); and Ron Wilson, Manhattan (Rural says thank you!).

Penner said, "This list includes people with a range of skills and talents from community doers who operate without a title to entrepreneurs and those involved in the media. Kansas is stronger because of the consistent and earnest efforts of each of these citizens and we are proud to recognize them.”

The awards plates were made by Elk Falls Pottery.

To see a list of all We Kan! award winners go to