Volunteer of the Year

El Dorado Branch YMCA 

Kyle Loucks is the Volunteer of the Year award winner for the El Dorado YMCA and is a nominee for the overall Greater Wichita YMCA Volunteer of the Year Award that will be presented at the  Annual Celebration to be held March 10th.  As the El Dorado Y Volunteer of the Year, Kyle will be presented with a plaque at the event. 

Kyle Loucks is the El Dorado YMCA Volunteer of the Year

“Our volunteer of the year, Kyle Loucks, works at the front desk,” said Matt Engel Branch Director of El Dorado YMCA. 

“She is our ultimate gretter. The regulars who come in in the morning expect to see her at the front desk,” said Engel.  She is part of our family and part of our culture. She is definitely the life of the time when she is here.”

Loucks has volunteered at the El Dorado YMCA for 6 years. 

“My favorite part is greeting people,” said Loucks. “And I like helping them feel happy and healthy.”

“Kyle has the best attitude,” said Engel.  “She does towel runs and will help wherever she can.”  

  “Volunteers of the Year at the branch level are selected for the exceptional work they do to make the Greater Wichita YMCA better. Their length of involvement with the Y and the impact they make on all those around them are part of the selection process,” said Angela Cato, Director of Marketing for the Greater Wichita YMCA.

First Responder Appreciation Dinner

County and City law enforcement agencies, Kansas Wildlife & Parks, County Fire Districts, Emergency Management, Rescue & Medical  Services, 911 Centers and School Resource Officers, along with family, friends and community supporters, were on hand for the 3rd Annual First Responder Appreciation Dinner held in El Dorado on Saturday, February 29, 2020.

Dane Scherling, Managing Partner of Carlson and Kirby-Morris Funeral Homes, welcomed guests and served as the evening’s emcee.  Carlson and Kirby-Morris sponsored the annual Appreciation Dinner and Jean Plummer served as the event organizer. 

Kansas State Fire Marshal Doug Jorgensen, was the guest speaker.  Jorgensen spoke about understanding the sacrifices and commitment required, as he has been in the first responder community for 40 years.   

In the audience, El Dorado Police Chief Curt Zieman, was acknowledged for his 40 years of service. 

Jorgensen shared information about the programs and resources his office provides. 

The Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) is dedicated to protecting the lives and property of the citizens of Kansas from the hazards of fire, explosion, and natural and man-made disasters.

He said the OSFM is funded through money generated from a small fee on every insurance policy sold in the state each year. 

Jorgensen touched on recruitment and retention issues within the first responder community as well as mental health issues of first responders and the strategies being employed to address those needs.

According to Jorgensen, 86% of firefighters in the state are volunteers.   Many of the dinner attendees are volunteers within the Butler County First Responder Community. 

Fire Marshal Doug Jorgensen, left, is pictured with the Carlson Colonial and Kirby-Morris Funeral Homes staff and organizer Jean Plummer, right.

Jorgensen expresses his thanks to the community and to Carson and Kirby-Morris for sponsoring the event. He said few communities across the state recognize their first responders this way.

Drums Across Kansas

Six Drum and Bugle Corps teams from across the country performed before a crowd of fans and judges in the seasonal contest held annually, known as Drums Across Kansas.  Drums Across Kansas presents the Drum Corp International Tour (DCI) each year, and this is the fourth year for it to be held in El Dorado at BG Veterans Stadium.

EDCF Color Guard presented the colors prior to the start of the competition.

Percussion, color guard, and marching, as well as the general effect of design and musicality are scored by the judges, according to Anthony DiCarlo, DCI tour manager. The world championship will be in Indianapolis, in August. Santa Clara Vanguard is the current reigning champion. 

Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps are the reigning champions and placed second at Drums Across Kansas.

The other teams are the Mandarins from Sacramento, California; the Crossmen from San Antonia, Texas; the Blue Knights from Denver, Colorado; The Cadets from Allentown, Pennsylvania; the Santa Clara Vanguard from Santa Clara, California; and the Blue Devils from Concord, California.

Drum Corps International Tour Manager, Anthony DiCarlo, with Miss Teen El Dorado Naomi Galindo and Miss Teen Frontier Brooklyn Terrones. 

Blue Devils took first place with a score of 88.400, Santa Clara Vanguard was a close second with 88.350 points, and Blue Knights rounded out the top three with 83.300 points. 

Drum and Bugle Corps members, like the Crossmen, pictured here, were dressed in costumes that added to their performances.

Drum Corp International was formed in 1971 to organize and unify leadership for youth-focused competitive drum corps events throughout North America. 

Drums Across Kansas is made possible in part to due to the hard work of volunteers.  Pictured here is City Clerk, Tabitha Sharp (in orange) and Butler Mission Week volunteers.