Volunteer lauded as Citizen of the Year
A Basehor resident who's "been a pillar of the Basehor community his whole life" earned the city's Outstanding Citizen of the Year Award at Monday night's Fourth of July Celebration.
Roger Brandt, an area farmer, volunteer firefighter and contributor to several local organizations, said he was speechless when receiving word that he'd won the prestigious award.
"Surprised isn't the word for it," Brandt said. "I was shocked and amazed. It was something I would have never dreamed would have happened."
If Brandt was shell shocked to win the award, he was in rare company. In a nomination letter on his behalf, a Basehor resident spoke glowingly about Brandt's contributions to the city.
"Roger Brandt has been a pillar of the Basehor community his whole life," the letter reads. "Roger is a down-home type personality, who never meets a stranger and always goes above and beyond in his friendliness and integrity."
Brandt's work in the community reads like a laundry list. Over the years, he's been involved with 4-H, the Basehor Planning Commission and has served as a board member for Community National Bank and Consolidated Rural Water District #1. He's also served as a volunteer firefighter for the last 41 years.
He also helped in the construction of the Basehor Field of Dreams sports complex by donating his spare time to hauling rock to the facility.
Brandt, who was named Fairmount Township firefighter of the year in 2002 and was featured in "Successful Farming Magazine" in 1985, accepts very little of the accolades bestowed upon him and instead credits others for his achievements.
On winning the Outstanding Citizen of the Year Award, Brandt thanked the Chamber of Commerce and residents of the community. On everything else, Brandt expressed gratitude to his understanding family.
"I owe a great deal to my family," Brandt said. "I want to help out and do my part in the community and I couldn't have done that without them."
Brandt, who's called Basehor home forever, said he's not planning on leaving anytime soon and that he'll continue doing what's he done his whole life -- volunteering and working for the city's betterment.
"This is my home," he said plainly. "It's a nice place to live and the people are great. I (volunteer) because it's something I want to do. This has been my whole life."
Brandt, and his wife, Linda, have been married 21 years. They have five children, 15 grandchildren, one great grandchild and two step grandsons.