June 29, 2019
Supporters of the Truman Heartland Community Foundation (THCF) will gather on September 28, 2019 at the 24th Annual Toast to Our Towns Gala. This event, presented by Speaks Chapels, will be held at the Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center and recognize individuals who have made a significant philanthropic impact in Eastern Jackson County and surrounding communities.
Truman Heartland will be awarding the Humanitarians of the Year, Corporate Citizen of the Year, Heartland Service Award and Dr. Paul M. Thomson Professional Advisor of the Year at this year’s Gala. These recipients embody the spirit of giving and inspire others in their community through generous acts of philanthropy and volunteer work.
Tom and Carman Duvall, Heartland Humanitarians of the Year
Tom and Carman Duvall’s passion for philanthropy has made a profound impact in Eastern Jackson County and beyond.
Tom and Carman are best known for the annual charitable music festival, Tomstock, held on the lawn of their home in Independence. Founded in 2014, Tomstock is a fundraiser for The H8 Cancer Foundation and a tribute to the couple’s close friend Keirs Rowley and all who have battled or lost their life to cancer. To date, Tomstock has raised more than $800,000 for cancer research and education.
Carman, a former principal in the Blue Springs School District, has led several initiatives focused on supporting children in Eastern Jackson County. She is a past Chairman and current member of the Blue Springs Education Foundation Board and founder of “The Closet,” an outreach program that provides donated clothing for students in the Blue Springs School District. Carman and her husband have been avid supporters of the Drumm Farm Center for Children for almost 15 years and Carman has served on the Drumm Board of Directors since 2013.
Tom and Carman have been champions for Drumm’s COMPASS program since its inception. They lend their financial and volunteer support to numerous projects all focused on helping young adults who have aged out of foster care learn tools for living successful, independent lives. Last year, the couple hosted a cooking class at their home and took the students to Maverick’s games. During the holiday season, Tom and Carman provide all of the residents at Drumm with two gift cards: one as a gift and one to be used to purchase gifts for others.
As a business owner, Tom passes his conviction for philanthropy on to his employees. President and CEO of TruckMovers, Tom established the TruckMovers Charitable Foundation that provides financial support to nonprofits in the community based on employee recommendations. The TruckMovers scholarship program offers educational assistance for the children of employees. In 2018, TruckMovers received the Philanthropic Business of the Year Award from the Independence Council for Economic Development. Tom is a former member of the Truman Heartland Community Foundation Board.
Tom and Carman have been married for 29 years and have shared their dedication to giving back with their three children. They are engaged in charitable giving through their fund, the Duvall Family Foundation for Children, and have volunteered with their family, both locally and on mission trips abroad.
GEHA, Heartland Corporate Citizen of the Year
GEHAGEHA is a not-for-profit provider of medical and dental plans serving more than two million federal employees, retirees and their dependents.
As one of the largest employers in the Kansas City area, GEHA sees social responsibility as key to its business and mission. GEHA’s corporate giving program involves both financial commitments and volunteerism, focusing on projects that are meaningful to employees, demonstrating the company’s commitment to the community and assisting organizations that promote health and wellness.
The Annual GEHA Golf Tournament has raised over $1.3 million for the benefit of local charities. The company helps fundraise for March of Dimes, including participation in the organization’s annual Greater Kansas City March for Babies. Each year, GEHA joins the Kansas City Corporate Challenge to promote employee fitness and teambuilding, while also giving back to a Kansas City-based charitable organization.
GEHA provides ongoing support to local veterans. Through gifts of time and money, GEHA employees have helped the Veterans Community Project build tiny homes and honored WWII and Korean War veterans through sponsorship of Heartland Honor Flight, giving Kansas City area military veterans the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C. and tour the memorials honoring their military service, at no cost. GEHA employees and their families wrote nearly 300 letters of appreciation to those who were on the October 2018 flight and many joined the cheering crowd of several thousand at Kansas City International Airport for an inspiring homecoming.
During the government shutdown in early 2019, GEHA partnered with Harvesters—The Community Food Network to sponsor four emergency food distribution locations throughout Kansas City and Topeka. These efforts helped provide food to 465 households and feed more than 1,775 people. Additionally, GEHA hosted a food drive during February to restock area food pantries that had experienced higher than normal demand, as a result of the shutdown.
GEHA is proud to encourage employees to invest their time, energy and goodwill into helping children and families throughout the Kansas City metro area by offering time off to support numerous organizations that positively impact the health and wellness of the community through civic involvement and charitable contributions.
Drumm Farm Center for Children, Heartland Service Award
Drumm Farm Center for ChildrenFor a century, Drumm Farm Center for Children has provided a nurturing environment for some of the most vulnerable citizens in the community.
Having worked with nearly 2,000 youth, Drumm has an inspiring legacy of service and programs that yield the lifelong success of children and young adults.
Originally named the Andrew Drumm Institute, Drumm Farm Center for Children was established in 1919 by prominent Kansas City businessman, Major Andrew Drumm, as a home and working farm for orphaned and impoverished boys. The organization has transformed over the years, now serving both boys and girls in foster care, homeless young adults and those aging out of foster care, but Drumm’s mission has never wavered.
A community within itself, the campus at Drumm Farm Center for Children provides forever-family environments, focused on emotional and physical well-being, along with opportunities for educational and personal growth. In addition to offering a home, Drumm works diligently to place children and siblings in nurturing, loving homes. Children and families engage in a host of Drumm programs and services to help them overcome emotional, physical, financial, and educational challenges.
Drumm has four main programs: Educational Support, including assessments, tutoring and online education programs; Street Outreach, providing trauma-informed, culturally competent support services to youth and young adults struggling with maintaining stable housing across Eastern Jackson County; COMPASS, offering transitional housing and a network of support for those who have aged out of foster care; and Counseling Services providing a full-continuum of care.
George N. Koepp, Dr. Paul M. Thomson Professional Advisor of the Year Award
George N. Koepp George N. Koepp takes pride in finding solutions and making an impact in the lives of others. As a financial advisor, George is focused on helping his clients reach their financial and philanthropic goals. His dedication to being of service to others is a hallmark of everything he does.
George became a financial advisor with Edward Jones in 2006, when he opened his office in Raytown. In 2014, he was invited to become a limited partner with Edward Jones.
Known as a charitable giving activist, during his tenure on the THCF Raytown Advisory Board, George played an instrumental role with the Foundation’s Professional Advisor Program, emphasizing the benefits of charitable giving for both financial advisors and their clients.
He has held many leadership roles throughout Eastern Jackson County. He served as president of the Rotary Club of Raytown. He was a founding board member of the Raytown Main Street Association and is a Master Mason of the Overland Park Masonic Lodge No. 436. George has also served on the board of the nonprofit Survive and Thrive.
In his leisure time, George enjoys cooking and helping friends work on cars. His wife, Ronna, is an educator who taught orchestra in Raytown Schools for 19 years and is a talented violinist. Together, they enjoy family time, including watching their teenage son, Ian, play soccer and encouraging his interest in computers and technology.
Citizens of the Year, chosen by area mayors, will be honored at the Toast to Our Towns Gala and will be announced later this summer.
The 2019 Toast to Our Towns Gala is presented by Speaks Chapel and benefits Truman Heartland Community Foundation. Saint Luke’s East Hospital will host the cocktail reception and GEHA will host the Mix, Mingle, and Music after-party.
A private reception sponsored by Centerpoint Medical Center for the Citizens of the Year will be held on Friday, September 6, 2019.
Additional support is provided by CommunityAmerica Credit Union; Dunn Family Foundation; Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation; and Dr. Steve and Beth Silverstein.
The Toast to Our Towns Gala will be held on September 28, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. at the Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center. Tickets for the Gala can be purchased at www.thcf.org/Gala.
Truman Heartland Community Foundation (THCF) is a public charity committed to improving area communities by promoting and serving private giving for the public good. Founded in 1982, THCF serves the region with assets of more than $46 million and annual grants surpassing $4.4 million. THCF serves individuals who, through their private giving, wish to support the public good and helps them do it in the most tax-wise and effective manner. Through the Community Foundation, donors can set up their own donor advised funds, scholarship funds, field of interest funds, endowment funds, charitable gift annuities and many other charitable vehicles, which utilize shared resources of the Foundation to maximize the impact of their philanthropic dollars. In addition to donor services, the Community Foundation provides asset development for nonprofit organizations, awards grants to nonprofits, assists organizations in planned giving and serves as a leader in addressing community issues. For more information on charitable giving, visit www.thcf.org or call THCF at 816.836.8189.