PARSONS, Kan. — SKIL Resource Center held its 2020 annual holiday meeting online via Zoom December 4 due to Coronavirus concerns, President/CEO Shari Coatney said. SKIL is a local independent living center. The annual meeting was hosted by Coatney and SKIL’s board of directors.
Popular entertainer Duke Mason performed, singing several Christmastime favorites.
The organization’s board of directors was introduced. SKIL is run by a seven-member volunteer board, all who have some type of disability. Current board members are: Susan Moffitt-Roberson, Chair; David Wooten, husband of SKIL co-founder Marty Wooten, Secretary/Treasurer; Olivia Lyons, Vice Chair; Stephen Busby, William Busby, Brian Durkin and Nancy Varner, board members. All board members serve a three-year renewable term.
Every year, SKIL honors people with special plaque awards. SKIL awards for 2020 went to: Spirit of Independence award, Kathy Walker; the Believe to Achieve award, Joe Reinecker; the Proving by Doing award, Neighbors Helping Neighbors; the Voice to Change award, Community Mission for Housing; the Above and Beyond award, Christy House; and the Advocacy award, Skip Smith.
Gilbert Haynes and Gene Huston were chosen on behalf of Neighbors Helping Neighbors to accept the Proving by Doing award. Renita Butler and Dean Hines were chosen on behalf of the Community Mission for Improved Housing to accept the Voice to Change award.
“These awards honor outstanding leadership in our area community,” Coatney said. “We appreciate the exceptional efforts these folks have made. We are deeply grateful to our board of directors for their tireless work to help improve the lives of people with disabilities, and we continue to appreciate the ongoing support of the community as we carry on our mission. We hope next year to be able to return to holding our annual holiday meeting and dinner at the Parsons VFW and wish everyone a joyous holiday season.”
Matthew Ray Newbery, 53, of Pittsburg, Kansas, passed away on Nov. 22, 2020, at University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas.
Matt joined the staff at the Southeast Kansas Independent Living Resource Center as Sports Director at KSEK Radio from 2010 to 2015. Matt was the voice of the Fort Scott Community College Greyhounds and later the Labette Community College Cardinals. During his time with SKIL, Matt became a local advocate for people with disabilities. He helped promote independence and self-sufficiency through mainstream jobs. http://www.brennermortuary.com/obituary/Matthew-Newbery
The color red. It evokes powerful feelings in us, including warmth,
love and passion. Red also sometimes makes us think of negative things like
anger or danger. With the continuing Coronavirus pandemic, the color red
represents states with high numbers of COVID-19, or hot spots within states.
Both Kansas and Missouri have recently been deemed red states for COVID, and
they may still be when this column is posted.
Since we are now in the midst of the 2020 holiday season, let us be mindful of the
color red in positive ways. Let us reach out to one another in love and joy. And while
we’re at it—let’s take a mental break from the worries of COVID and truly celebrate
the holidays, our most joyous time of year. Take a mental health break and take time to
care for yourself.
Taking a mental break doesn’t mean relaxing on important safety precautions, especially
when Coronavirus numbers of positive cases are spiking. We all need to diligently continue
practicing safety measures—wearing masks, not gathering in large numbers, frequently
washing or sanitizing hands and practicing social distancing. We should do these things
without having to think about them so much. They should become routine, and without rancor.
True contentment is not merely about finding positives in our lives. It’s about focusing on
the positives that we find, and really rejoicing in them. I, myself, have many positives and
much for which to be thankful this holiday season: my life, my family, SKIL and all of you.
When I think of you, I see red—not danger or anger, as the phrase may imply. I see and feel
love. I love every single one of you! And I love being able to serve you. It’s my passion, my joy.
Thank you for the privilege of leading you as SKIL’s President/CEO. Please stay safe and healthy as we
rejoice in the positives of our lives this holiday season.