Former Kansas City Police Chief Darryl Forte and longtime neighborhood leader Carol Winterowd were among those honored at the Second Annual South Kansas City Alliance (SKCA) Awards Breakfast May 30 at the Avila University Athletic Pavilion attended by over 300 people.
Forte, appointed in 2011 as the first African-American police chief in the city’s history, received the Alvin Brooks Lifetime Service Award named for the former Kansas City mayor pro tem and founder of the AdHoc Group Against Crime. Deputy Chief Patty Higgins accepted the award on Forte’s behalf.
Since joining the Police Department in 1985, Forte rose through the ranks during his 32-year career after growing up in south Kansas City and graduating from Ruskin High School in 1980.
As chief, Forte worked to improve police-community relations, initiated “hot spot” policing policies to focus police resources on high crime areas, utilized a focused deterrence strategy through the Kansas City No Violence Alliance to reduce violent crime by known offenders and their associates, and supported training officers in de-escalation techniques when faced with potentially violent situations.
The Lifetime Service Award also was presented to the family and colleagues of the late Jeff Williams who served as an attorney for Legal Aid of Western Missouri for 34 years until his recent death. Williams worked with many neighborhood groups such as the Marlborough Community Coalition to correct blighting conditions in their areas.
Winterowd received the Judy Swope Good Neighbor Award named for the late city councilwoman and neighborhood leader.
She helped organize the West Bannister Neighborhood Association in her garage in 1981 and has served as president of the Center Planning and Development Council for over 10 years. She is the former coordinator of Citizens Against Billboard Blight that led the successful effort to pass a city ordinance restricting the spread of billboards; regulating their size, location and maintenance; and prohibiting new digital billboards.
John Sharp, SKCA awards committee chair, said numerous neighborhood leaders such as Winterowd have volunteered thousands of hours to improve south Kansas City. “I’m so glad we’re finally thanking them formally for their years of service. It’s long overdue,” he said
The Good Corporate Citizenship award was given to Cerner Corporation which recently opened its first buildings at its massive new Innovations Campus at the site of the former Bannister Mall and to LANE4 Property Group which is redeveloping the Red Bridge Shopping Center.
“We have seen tremendous progress in south Kansas City in recent years,” said Stacey Johnson-Cosby, SKCA president, “and it’s taken the cooperation of neighborhood leaders, government officials and business owners to make it happen. We want to show them their efforts are appreciated.”
Other award recipients were:
Outstanding Neighborhood Organization – Verona Hills Homes Association and Waldo Tower Homes Association
Outstanding Community Service – Charles “Mac” Andrew, Chuck Loomis and Valerie Nicholson-Watson
Outstanding Government Service – Joe Blankenship and Kellie Johnston Dorsey
Outstanding Public Safety Service – Officer John Munyan and Paramedic Jacki Breininger
Outstanding Educational Achievement Program – Border Star Montessori Model United Nations Program and Ervin Early Learning Center
Outstanding Young Achiever – Jordan Sanders, Isaiah Williams and Savanna Williams
Savanna Williams, a nine-year- old who just finished the fourth grade at Warford Elementary School, received an Outstanding Young Achiever Award at the 2 nd Annual SKCA Awards Breakfast May 30 for raising substantial funds from the sale of her artwork during the last five years to contribute to charities that assist children. Shown with Savanna, from left, are Stacey Johnson-Cosby, SKCA president; Urban Ray, Warford principal; Brian Williams, Savanna’s father; John Sharp, SKCA awards committee chair; Nicole Williams, Savanna’s mother; and Dr. Yolanda Cargile, Hickman Mills school superintendent.
John Sharp, chair of the SKCA Awards & Government Affairs Committees, received a surprise award for his many years of dedicated service to South Kansas City from SKCA President Stacey Johnson-Cosby at the 2nd Annual SKCA Awards Breakfast May 30. Shown with them are members of the SKCA Board: (from left) Steve Quinlan, Cathy Knight-Kotzias, Greg Lever, Nicole Williams, Eslun Tucker, Sherwood Smith and Missouri State Representative DaRon McGee.