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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Main Street honors volunteers

  • While Elena Gann said she wished Leavenworth Main Street could thank everyone for the work they do, the organization recognized a volunteer of the year Friday night as well as someone who goes "above and beyond."
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  • While Elena Gann said she wished Leavenworth Main Street could thank everyone for the work they do, the organization recognized a volunteer of the year Friday night as well as someone who goes "above and beyond."
    Gann is the president of the Board of Directors for Leavenworth Main Street, which focuses on revitalization and preservation of the downtown area. Along with Vice President Sherry Brown, Gann presented the Volunteer of the Year and Above and Beyond award during Main Street's annual banquet.
    The Volunteer of the Year Award was presented to Jeanie Hazels.
    "I'm very proud," she said after the presentation. "I was surprised. I didn't expect this."
    Hazels said she's been involved with Main Street since the late 1990s, and she served on the board for 6.5 years.
    Hazels said she enjoys being involved in Main Street because she's seen the organization grow and help businesses to become established and prosper.
    "We love the town," Hazels said of herself and her husband.
    Gann said Hazels is one of the unique people who love to serve, and because of that, Main Street has greatly benefitted.
    Main Street created the Above and Beyond Award this year. The award was presented to Susan Pierce.
    Pierce, who was named Volunteer of the Year last year, said she's been involved with Main Street for a couple of years. She's worked on events such as a summer concert series and the Hog Wild West Barbecue Contest.
    "I believe in downtown," Pierce said.
    Like Hazels, Pierce did not know she would be receiving an award. She said after the presentation that she was completely surprised and thrilled.
    Gann said Pierce has a passion and enthusiasm for downtown Leavenworth and Main Street, and she's provided hours and hours of service.
    In addition to the plaques for the Volunteer of the Year and Above and Beyond awards, multiple certificates were presented Friday to recognize people for various contributions.
    Gann said Main Street officials plan to continue to present the Above and Beyond Award.
    "We plan to do it every year," she said.
    The banquet featured a couple of guest speakers. Will Katz, director of the University of Kansas Small Business Development Center, said small businesses turn cities into communities. He said small business owners are "the cornerstones of our community."
    "I think Main Street helps the community by helping businesses," he said.
    The other speaker was Cheryl Tellefson, co-owner of Yellow Wood Homes. She shared with audience members three philosophies of her business ― how we do anything is how we do everything, come from a place of creativity rather than a place of competition and look for ways to serve.

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