TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – The Native Sons and Daughters of Kansas held their 103rd annual meeting Saturday night in Topeka.
For the first time in its history, the organization honored an entire industry at its annual banquet.
“For 100 years we’ve met to honor a Kansan of the Year, and tonight we’re doing something a little different rather than honoring an individual or group of individuals, we’re honoring the entire health care system for its response to COVID- 19,” said Clint Patty, co-president of Native Sons and Daughters of Kansas.
After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the organization thought it would be appropriate to honor healthcare workers upon their return.
“We haven’t met in two years because of the pandemic and after everything we’ve all been through as Kansans, there was a thought on the board that we should take a moment and mark this time to honor those health care workers who have gave us so much,” Patty said.
In past years, the award went to one single person for their contributions to the state.
“We’ve had everyone from Gordon Parks to Dwight Eisenhower to Bob Dole to Bill Self to Bill Snyder just honored hundreds of Kansans who have brought great respect and honor to the state and made great contributions to both this state and the nation. ,” said Patty.
Patty said the contributions and sacrifices of healthcare workers are difficult to put into words.
“It’s hard for us to even fully appreciate it. Every time there’s a major disaster or something happens in this country, we’ve been given the opportunity to volunteer, we’ve been given an opportunity to be involved in recovery efforts. We had no opportunity to do that with COVID-19, it was too dangerous. And so these health care workers literally took it all on their shoulders and carried the whole burden of it and it means the world.”
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