Archive for Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Youth group, award, top list of PRIDE achievements in 2003

December 31, 2003

The restoration of its youth group and a state award are at the center of noteworthy achievements for the Basehor PRIDE organization in 2003, PRIDE spokesman Chuck Wilderson said.

"I think both of those, at least in my view, were big accomplishments," Wilderson said.

During the past 12 months, PRIDE volunteers have worked closely with the community and other organizations to coordinate the city's July 4 festivities, a police and fireman's banquet and a holiday decorating contest amid numerous other events.

However, the feathers in the cap for PRIDE may have come in September, a month which saw the organization revitalize its youth program and join an exclusive list of communities from across the state.

During a statewide PRIDE day in Great Bend, judges deemed the achievements of Basehor PRIDE worthy enough to merit the group's inclusion to the Community of Excellence list.

Basehor PRIDE is one of only 15 organizations in Kansas to receive the high water mark and 2003 is the second time in three years PRIDE has reached the achievement.

When state judges reviewed PRIDE's work throughout the year, they remarked at the success the organization had in developing its Community Assessment, a review and goal setting process implemented in 2003.

The group continues to work on the Community Assessment process, Wilderson said.

In the same month that PRIDE volunteers were preparing for state PRIDE day, they also found time to restore Basehor Youth PRIDE, which disbanded in 2000 after an initial three-year run.

Any student interested may join Youth PRIDE and thus far, the group has re-emerged with 20 new members.

The group took on several projects in 2003 including volunteering at local school carnivals and helping unload items for the recycling bin at Basehor City Hall on the weekends.

But, for all the accomplishments 2003 brought to PRIDE, the group isn't resting easy.

Already, the organization has installed some new officers for 2004 including George Smith, who will take over as PRIDE president, and Cecil Swenson, who will assume responsibilities of vice-president.

Jeral Cooper and Cindy Bartko, PRIDE treasurer and secretary, respectively, will remain in their current roles.

The first PRIDE event scheduled for 2004 is a catered banquet for new families within Basehor.

"We'll welcome newcomers to the city and encourage them to get involved with more than one organization in the city," Wilderson said.

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