We Kan!

What are We Kan! Awards?

The Kansas Sampler Foundation presents ten We Kan! awards every year. 

They are presented to individuals or organizations that have made outstanding efforts to help preserve and sustain rural culture in their area.
 
There is no application process.  The Foundation chooses recipients who have a cooperative spirit, show enthusiasm and dedication for their community, and whose efforts have made a real difference in rural Kansas.
 
They are made by Elk Falls Pottery.

The Spotlight Awards have been awarded by Sally Frame and Ann Hertzog Frame since 2008.

We Kan! Award Winners


















2019 WE KAN! AWARD WINNERS

Michelle Crisler, Wamego - Quietly delivering quality

Helen Dobbs, St. Francis - Dedicated doer

Carolyn Dunn, St. John - Ardent Achiever

Joy Jensen, Eureka - Years of Good

Keyta Kelly, Tonganoxie -All about community

Eric Montgomery, Lawrence - Picture of Support

Karen Sturm, Caldwell - Historically Awesome

Rosa Thomas, Whiting - Cooking up some love

Two more to come


2018 WE KAN! AWARD WINNERS

B and Mandy Fincham, Beloit - Giving Beloit a cool factor

Shaley George, Concordia - Sharing stories with heart

Jeanne Fisher Roberts, Plains - Plains Awesome

Kelli Hilliard, Topeka - Tourism friend to all of Kansas

Kelly Larson, Lincoln - Passion for "building"

Lori Lennen, Coolidge - Putting Coolidge on the map

Luciano and Nancy Mottola, Mulvane – Providing great taste and class

Heidi Plumb and Kale Dankenbring, St. Francis - Breath of fresh air

Jenny Russell, Courtland - Passionate rural by choice doer

Rosslyn Schultz, Lucas - Sharing art in extraordinary fashion

Jim Stukey, Burlington - Painting the town

Note - We accidentally did eleven this year.  How wonderful!

 

2017 WE KAN! AWARD WINNERS

Rosanna Bauman, Garnett - Farming the future

Community of Winfield - Bringing Kansas Together 2016-2017

Kristi Lee, Leavenworth - Making things happen

Chris McCord, Ellinwood - Shining light on the underground

Julie Mulvihill, Topeka - Connecting Communities

Jayne Humphrey Pearce, Wallace - Making Wallace County Historic

Jacque Pregont, Atchison - Being attentive to Atchison

Kathy Richardson, Lindsborg - Making Ad Hoc into an art form

Len Schamber, Damar - Preserving Kansas, ala Len, Schamber Historic Preservation

Roxie Yonkey, Goodland - Complementing Sherman Co.


2016 WE KAN! AWARD WINNERS

Jane Brophy, Chanute - Cheering for Chanute

Shari Butler, Elkhart - Passion for the Grassland

Sarah Green, Wichita - Doing Democracy

Bridgette Jobe, Kansas City - Seeing the Big Picture

Liz King, Park City, UT (Marci's sister) - Designed generosity

Ken & Shirley McClintock, Council Grove - Making History Delicious

Larry & Jan Olson, Hill City - Stumpin' for RV Parks & Campgrounds

Sue Stringer, Topeka - Toutin' Kansas

Andrea Springer & Steve Snook, Hutchinson - Good Thinkers for Kansas

Adam Wagner, Greensburg - You've Been Good for Kansas


2015 WE KAN! AWARD WINNERS

Patty Clark, Topeka - Leadership that strengthens rural Kansas

Simone Elder, Leoti - Good energy for the county

Dave Kendall, Dover - You're simply the best...in a vest

Holly Lofton, Lindsborg - Making things happen in Lindsborg

Luke Mahin, Courtland - PowerUp for all ages

Nancy Ohnick, Meade - Dedication to Meade County History

Tom Parker, Blue Rapids - Putting Kansas in a good light

Dena Patee, Ellis - Doing everything, all out

Jan Stevens, Dodge City - Difference-making leadership

Community of Wamego - Bringing Kansas Together 2014-2015


2014 WE KAN! AWARD WINNERS

Stacy Barnes, Greensburg - Good for Greensburg, through thick and thin

Phyllis Bitner, Franklin (Crawford Co.) - Irresistible force for Franklin

Jim and Sandi Coast, Cimarron - Community difference-maker

Jettie Condray, Minneapolis - Passion for Ottawa County History

Janelle Dockendorf, Dickinson County - Bringing the county together

Don Harness, Garden City - Keeping the Windsor Dream Alive

Katie Herrick, Johnson - Dedication to Stanton County history education

John Howard, Marysville - Marshall County Enthusiast

Paul Kallman, Scandia - Great support for North Central Kansas

Susan Wettstein, Garnett - Working for the good of Garnett




2013 WE KAN! AWARD WINNERS

Abby Amick, Alma - Powering Up agri-women and Kansas

Tammy Britt, Concordia - Good Thinker & Bright Spirit

Community of Liberal - Bringing Kansas Together 2012-2013

Marc & Alice Ferguson, Meade - Preserving the Old West Story

Marieta Hauser, Ulysses - Doing it all for Grant County

Don Lampe, Piqua - Always-there-to-help Guy

Liz Sosa, Garden City - Leading the way to PowerUp Kansas

Brenda Staggenborg, Marysville - Making it happen in Marysville

U.S. Highway 36 Association - Century of promoting East to West

Sarah Werner, Winfield - Valuable PowerUp voice accross Kansas


2012 WE KAN! AWARD WINNERS

Myrna Barnes, Elkhart - Commitment to county history

Amy Bickel, Hutchinson News - Perfectly penning about past Kansas towns

Vicki Gillett, Larned - Longtime community promoter

Connie Grafel, Oberlin - Steady regional influence

Keystone Gallery, Logan County - Fabulous fossil stewards

Connie Kimsey, Arkansas City - Rock solid regional partner

Dick Mosier, Herington - Valuable volunteer and Kansas Explorer

Fred Peterson, Marquette - Determined community booster

Julie Roller, Wamego - Awesome supporter of her towns

Ruben Schuckman, Hays - Devoted promoter of Ellis County towns


2011 WE KAN! AWARD WINNERS

Grady Atwater, Osawatomie - Dedicated advocate for John Brown

Sally Frame, Kinsley - Great Kansas Spirit!

Teresa Huffman, Marion - Positive force for rural communities

Leavenworth County - Thanks for bringing Kansas together in 2010-2011

Community of Muscotah - The Little Town that Could

Debra Nelson, Little River - Progressive difference maker

Yvette Schlegel, Ness City - Positive influence in southwest Kansas

Jeff Sheets, Abilene - Champion for cattle town history

Lonnie Stieben, Clearwater - Dedicated advocate for rural towns

Beccy Tanner, Wichita - Lifting rural Kansas with her pen


2010 WE KAN! AWARD WINNERS

Cathy Albert, WaKeeney - Invaluable community promoter

Linda Clover, Cawker City - Caretake of a community asset

Kathie and Jack Crispin, Lincoln - Outstanding keepers of history

Judy Dayhoff, Boulder, CO - Champion Explorer!

Craig Hull, Crawford County - Going the extra mile

Kaye Kuhn, Medicine Lodge - Caretaker of important history

Nancy Nolte, Blue Rapids - Champion Explorer!

Glenda Purkis, Abilene - Steady and positive influence

Tom Reed, Horton - Deluxe Entrepreneur and Good Guy!

Lea Ann Seiler, Hodgeman County - Positive force for forward motion


2009 WE KAN! AWARD WINNERS

Tom Braddy, Paxico - Mr. Promoter of Wine and Kansas

Concordia - Bringing Kansas Together in 2008-2009

John Divine, Salina - Longtime and loyal support

Sharla Krenzel, Leoti - Making a difference for Wichita County

Kristel Lewis, Lawrence - Extra effort for entrepreneurs

Joan Nothern, Glasco - Thoughtful leadership

Susan Rathke, Emporia - Excellent for Emporia

Glenda Trecek, Agenda - Believing in Agenda

Kristina Vaughn, Canute, OK - Extra Effort

Pat Veesart, Garden City - Champion for many


2008 WE KAN! AWARD WINNERS

Belinda & Mike Adams, New Albany - Passionate at Sharing History

Cris Collier, Great Bend - Superior Nature Promoter

Collyer Community Alliance - The Little Town That Could

Linda Craghead, Alma - Leadership and Creating Community

Cuba Booster Club - Keeping a Town Alive

Sally Fuller, Liberal - Making a Difference

Cathy Haney, Clay Center - Commitment to History (and hats!)

Jon Hotaling, Burlington - Dedication to County

Erika Nelson, Lucas - Visionary Artist, Thinker, and Speaker

Linda Wilson, Dodge City - Lending a Helping Hand


2007 WE KAN! AWARD WINNERS

Mary Arlington, Oakely - Great booster for RV's & Campgrounds

Mary Asher, Mound City - Outstanding upholder of county history

Jason Camis, Ottawa - Great communicator & cuisine connoisseur

Connie Dougherty, Lucas - Champion of Explorer Tourism

Craig & Kelle Goodman, Ness City - Top-notch county promoters

Christy Hopkins, Tribune - Positive communicator and visionary

Andrew Mahoney, Garden City - Golden Voice for Kansas

Carolyn Pendleton, Baxter Springs - Invaluable community promoter

Jim Richardson, Lindsborg - Helping us See Kansas with New Eyes

Sunflower Journeys, KTWU, Topeka - Distinctive Kansas Documentarians


2006 WE KAN! AWARD WINNERS

Judy Casey, McPherson - Steady and positive influence

Tiffani Kirk, Goodland - Enthusiasm for region

Shelia Lampe, Piqua - Regional difference-maker

WenDee LaPlant, Garden City - Networker deluxe

Gene Merry, Burlington -Rural supporter extraordinare

Bobbi Miles, Smith Center - Commitment to community

Gloria Moore, Barnes - Making things happen

Norma Mosier, Herington - Keeping history alive

Scott Nichols, Ulysses - Leadership and cooperative spirit

Cheryl Unruh, Emporia - Beautiful Kansas writings


2005 WE KAN! AWARD WINNERS

Community of Burns - The little town that could

Joann Combs, Liberal - Community promoter

Emma Crites, Fredonia - Community service

Ola May Earnest, Pleasanton - Commitment to history

Debbie Divine, Salina - Helping people see with new eyes

Deborah Kennamore, Burlington - Commitment to excellence

Laura McClure, Osborne - Progressive difference-maker

Barbara Mehuron, Winfield - Pitch in and help

Jeanette Siemens, Pratt - Leadership and vision

Bob & Jan Topping, Leavenworth - Valuable perspective


2004 WE KAN! AWARD WINNERS

Paul Bahnmaier, Lecompton - Keeping history alive

Suzan Barnes, Cottonwood Falls - Making it the best it can be

Judy Billings, Lawrence - Bringing communities together

Sally Hatcher, Leavenworth - Support for rural Kansas

Susie Haver, Concordia - Making a difference

Kim Legleiter, Montezuma - Community support

Dollie Mathes, Harper - Community difference-maker

Community of Newton - Bringing Kansas together

Donna Price, Goodland - Being the glue

Sue Smith, Cottonwood Falls - Making it fun!


2003 WE KAN! AWARD WINNERS

Chris Bauman, Neodesha - Community service

Paul Boyer & family, Belleville - Support of creative genius

Robert Cole, Wamego - Dedication to commerce & history

Fancy T's and More, Waterville - Community support

Roger Hrabe, Stockton - Making a difference

Dennis Katzenmeier, Ellsworth - Extra effort

Osborne County Tourism - Seeing county with new eyes

Wild West Country (SW Kansas Tourism region) - Attention to towns of all sizes

Margo Yates, Marion - Plugging away

Ann Zimmerman, Salina - Music to our ears


2002 WE KAN! AWARDS

Amazing 100 Miles - Cooperative spirit

Fred Burgess & Jim Mathes, Lewis - Making a difference

Community of Independence - Bringing Kansas together

Brenda Johnson, McDonald - Hometown champion

Charley Klamm, Cottonwood Falls - Making a difference

Margaret Kraisinger, Halstead - Community service

Diane Niehoff, Baldwin City - Community service

Eileen Roberston, Humboldt - Generous spirit

Sara Fair Sleeper, Alden - Believing in community

Solomon Valley Heritage Alliance - Creative energy


2001 WE KAN! AWARD WINNERS

Ann Walter, Waterville - Making things happen

Ellen Morgan, Salina - Uniting arts and tourism

Ellen Snell, Arkansas City - Uniting culture and tourism

Jessica Gilbert & Pat Wick, Ramona - Enthusaism & spirit

John & Debbie Breeden, Morland - Extra effort

Karen Tanner, Garden City - Cooperative effort

Leo Oliva, Woodston - Bringing communities together

Mike Mayberry, Kiowa - Countywide support

Paxico Merchants - For reviving Paxico

SEKTR (Southeast Kansas Tourism Region) - Enthusiasm & unity


2000 WE KAN! AWARD WINNERS

Community of Ottawa - Bringing Kansas together

Connie Essington, Council Grove - Commitment to excellence

Country Boys Carriage & Prairie Adventures, Newton - Keeping the pioneer story alive

Dave Procter, Manhattan - Telling the Kansas story

Downs Art Council - Making a difference

Glasco Arts Council - Believing in community

Martha Slater, Hutchinson - For believing...

Megan Evans, Halstead - Commitment to excellence

Territorial Kansas Heritage Alliance - Cooperative promotion

Tom & Marcella Ryan, Valley Falls - Dedication to rural Kansas


1999 WE KAN! AWARD WINNERS

Clifton-Vining Music Festival - The little train that could

Community of Pratt - Cooperative spirit

Darrell Albright, Pretty Prairie - Historical preservation

Janice Walker, Elwood - Dedication & Commitment

Kelly Goss, Garden City - The 220 award

Linda Hart, Coldwater - Dedication & commitment

Lisa Weigt, Melvern - Making a difference

Peabody Historical Society - Preserving the local story

Shannon Thom, Isabel - Spirit and support

Von Rothenberger, Osborne - Preserving the local story


1998 WE KAN! AWARD WINNERS

Deanne & Earl Wright, Council Grove - Dedication & commitment

Dorene Anderson, Lindsborg - Outstanding community service

Gary Satter, Valley Falls - Seeing Kansas with new eyes

John & Susan Howell, Wichita - Telling the Kansas story

Ken & Jeri Harder, Cottonwood Falls - Telling the Kansas story

Leilani Thomas, Colby - Leading the way

Mary & Marva Holt, Columbus - Hospitality

Owen & Della Meier, Canton - Dedication & commitment

Patrycia Herndon, Dighton - Restoration & artistry

Prairie Spirit Trail, Anderson County - Blazing the way


1997 WE KAN! AWARD WINNERS

Gary Anderson, Oberlin - Follow your dream

Community of Beaumont - The little train that could

Dane G. Hansen Museum, Logan - The little train that could

Edwards County Tourism - Cooperative spirit

Marilyn Helmer, Lincoln/Tescott - Outstanding community service

Community of Lucas - Extra effort

Barbara Stoecklein, Emporia - Hostess with the Mostest

Betty Van Osdol, Inman - Unsung hero

Vonada Stone Quarry, Sylvan Grove - Leading the way

Jonathan Wimer, Jackson County - Making it happen


1996 WE KAN! AWARD WINNERS

Country Junction/Lizard Lips, Toronto - Making a difference

Stan Finger, Wichita Eagle - Media support for rural Kansas

Lynda Fort, Ulysses - Leading the way

Dave & Mary Hendricks, WaKeeney - Leading the way

Lester (Buffalo Man) Lawrence, Clifton/Clyde - Enthusiasm for region

Michael & Ivona Pickering, Lincoln - Outstanding cooperative spirit

Ride into History, Admire - Extra effort

Jay Yoder, Partridge - Follow your dream

Zenda Lumberyard Restaurant - The little train that could


1995 WE KAN! AWARD WINNERS

Scott Dietz, KSNW-TV, Wichita - Media support for rural Kansas

George & Marjorie Gantz, Holton - Outstanding community service

Wally & Marian Glotta, Stafford - Outstanding community support

Vicky Johnson, Scammon - Outstanding cooperative spirit

Kansas Originals Market, Wilson - Outstanding retail support

Dolores Landry, Ames - Leading the way

Roger Masenthin, Harper - Seeing Kansas with new eyes

Charley & Faye Minium, Morland - Making a difference

B.J. Smart, Washington - Enthusiasm for county


1994 WE KAN! AWARD WINNERS

Abilene Area Bed-and-Breakfasts - Cooperative Effort

Christmas Wonderland, Stafford

Community of Caldwell

Early Bird Feeders, Augusta

Community of Ellsworth

Nita Jones, Sedan

Jane Koger, Matfield Green

Prairie People Tourism Association

Susie & the LuWonda's, Cloud County - Seeing Kansas with new eyes

Victorian Promenades, Fort Scott


1993 WE KAN! AWARD WINNERS

Angela Bates, Nicodemus - Dedication to historical preservation

Peggy Blackman, Marion - Enthusiasm for county

Cloud County Stained Glass Task Force - Countywide promotion

Friends of Elk Falls - The little train that could

Jim Gray, Ellsworth - Superior knowledge of area

Eda Jean Hildreth, Alton - #1 Kansas Explorer

David Lewis, Southern Kansas Telephone, Clearwater - Corporate support for rural Kansas

Linda Niemeyer, Woodson County - Dedication to historical preservation

Annette White, Kanopolis - Dedication to historical preservation

Tobe Zweygardt, Cheyenne County - Dedication to historical preservation