The 2016 Hall of Fame Class

Alumni of the Year Award –

Kevin Mahogany 
Kevin Mahogany, who has been described by Newsweek magazine as “the standout jazz vocalist of his generation”, got his start as a musician participating in the 4H Boys & Girls Clubs Jazz Ensemble. The group played for multiple Boys & Girls Club events as well as toured Kansas City parks during the summer, providing outdoor entertainment for families. Mahogany currently resides in Florida but continues to return home to Kansas City to play at multiple events in the Historic Jazz District and at the Kauffman Performing Arts Center.

Sport Alumni of the Year Award – 
 

 


PeelerFamilyThe Peeler Family
 
Larry Peeler worked alongside John Thornberry when the Clubs’ Thornberry Unit opened its’ doors in 1967. Peeler went on to coach numerous sporting teams at the Clubs, taking both basketball and baseball teams to the national championships. In 1968, Peeler’s wife, Carolyn Peeler began working as the Clubs’ membership secretary in the administrative office located on 19th Street in Kansas City, Missouri. The Peeler children were also very active in the Clubs, including Anthony Peeler who began attending the Boys & Girls Clubs at the age of five. Anthony Peeler learned to play basketball in the Clubs receiving coaching from his father Larry Peeler as well as Lester Burks and Alvin Clark, Sr., both past recipients of the Clubs’ Sport Alumni of the Year honor.  Anthony Peeler went on to enjoy a 13-year career in the NBA.

Service Alumni of the Year Awards  –

 

Robert Palmer and John Palmer
Robert Palmer, former assistant executive director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City, served the organization for more than 34 years. Palmer’s son, business executive John Palmer, virtually grew up in the Clubs. For a number of years, John Palmer underwrote the dinners for the Clubs Steak and Hamburger Dinner, the predecessor to the present Kids Night Out fund-raising event, so that all of the proceeds would go to the Boys & Girls Clubs.

Robert Palmer, former assistant executive director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City, served the organization for more than 34 years. Palmer’s son, business executive John Palmer, virtually grew up in the Clubs. For a number of years, John Palmer underwrote the dinners for the Clubs Steak and Hamburger Dinner, the predecessor to the present Kids Night Out fund-raising event, so that all of the proceeds would go to the Boys & Girls Clubs.

Catherine Ray 
Catherine Ray contributed in countless ways to the Boys & Girls Clubs. From cooking meals for Club kids and assistance with Club reading programs, to making regular financial gifts and service on the Board of Directors, Ray was considered to be one of the Clubs’ strongest volunteers.  Ray’s service to the Clubs expanded the course of nearly thirty years.

 

The 2015 Hall of Fame Class

Alumni of the Year Award –

DonWagnerPhotoDon Wagner, major club benefactor, advocate and former BGCGKC board member.
 Don Wagner is a private investor and General Partner of Wagner Investments, L.P. He worked for Trico Industries, a New York Stock Exchange company, in various positions from 1970, including President from 1984 – 1990. He acquired CST Industries from Trico Industries in 1990 and sold the company in 2006. Formerly Chairman of the Board of both the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City and Friends of the Kansas City Zoo. Currently serves as a Board Member for CST Industries, Inc., the National Association of Basketball Coaches Foundation, The Police Foundation of Kansas City, Tnemec, Co. Inc., was past President and current Board Member of The River Club, and is a Trustee of the University of Missouri at Kansas City. Don Wagner is a graduate of the University of Tulsa in 1967 and the Stanford Executive.  He lives in Kansas City, Missouri with his wife, Jean They have three grown children and one grandchild.

DrWoodsGerald Woods, director of the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant at Children’s Mercy Hospital.
 Gerald M. Woods, MD, is the director of the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant at Children’s Mercy. He is a professor of pediatrics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine.
Selected three times for AMA’s prestigious Physician’s Recognition Award, Dr. Woods has received innumerable awards including Best Doctors in America for 19 years running, and the Commendation Medal for his service as a Major in the USAF.
Dr. Woods is a member of the American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, American Society of Hematology, American Pediatric Society, and a Fellow of the AAP. He has served on several civic and scientific boards.
 A published author of more than 100 scientific papers, Dr. Woods is a respected speaker on pediatrics, sickle cell and hematology. He is the co-founder and medical director of Camp Courage for children with sickle cell.
Dr. Woods received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University and medical degree from Duke University School of Medicine. He completed his residency at Children’s Mercy and fellowship in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Duke University Medical Center.

 

Sport Alumni of the Year Award – 
 LesterBurksLester Burks, the first director for the John Thornberry Unit when it opened its doors in 1968. (posthumously)
Lester J. Burks was born October 23, 1930 in Ashdown Arkansas. He received his formal education in Ashdown. He attended Grambling College in Grambling LA and after three years went in the Armed Services and served two years. He played with the Harlem Globetrotters for seven years and migrated to Kansas City Missouri after leaving the team.
He was Director of the Thornberry Boys Club for approximately 10 years and later employed as a Director at City of Kansas Parks and Recreation Department.

 

 

AlvinClarkAlvin Clark, Sr., a devoted Club athletic coach for nearly 40 years taking both basketball and baseball teams to the national championships.
This is about a man who is anything but average, and has live a life that has been extraordinary in many ways. Born Feb 28,1936 Alvin A Clark Sr is the 8th of nine children of Mr. & Mrs. Leonard G. Clark Sr.. Educated in Kansas City Missouri school district. Shortly after graduating high school in 1956, Alvin married his high school sweetheart Evonia Riley and to this union five children were born. He has influenced the lives of many children starting back as early as 1968 when he began volunteering as a coach. Some of his coaching highlights was in 1974 he took his Biddy Basketball Team to the nationals in New Orleans. Also the same year his Mickey Mantle Baseball Team (Art Bunker) advanced to the Nationals in Sharman, Texas. His Stan Mursal 18 and over Baseball team competed in the nationals in Dallas, Texas in 1982. For 40 plus years his fundamental work ethic and coaching help lay the groundwork for developing successful life skills in youth.

Service Alumni of the Year Award  –

SteveSestakSteve Sestak, founder and partner of MarketSphere Consulting, LLC and former BGCGKC board chair.
Steve is the Founder and former Chief Executive Officer of MarketSphere Consulting, a diverse business advisory firm with specialized practices in the areas of unclaimed property, marketing operations, mobile direct response, and health care payment processing.
Steve founded MarketSphere in 2002 after sixteen years with the Andersen organization where he had served as the Managing Partner of the Business Consulting division in Kansas City / Omaha. He graduated from Northwest Missouri State University in 1986 with a degree in Management / Data Processing.
Steve served on the Board of Directors of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City from 2004 to 2014, including serving as Board Chairman in 2011 & 2012. He also serves or has served on the KU Advancement Board, the United Way Campaign Cabinet, and the Chairman Circle for the American Cancer Society.

 

The 2014 Inaugural Inductee – Club Alumnus David A. Smith.

As a Club kid, David A. Smith grew up playing baseball, basketball and was involved in many other activities in what was then known as the Boys Club. In 1968, Smith was one of the first members to walk through the doors of the newly erected John Thornberry Unit at the corner of 43rd Street and Cleveland Avenue. He graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City with a Masters Degree in Communications and has used his skills as a communicator ever since. He was Assistant Basketball Coach and Sports Information Director for the Fighting Kangaroos at UMKC.  In 1982, Smith began a 12-year career with the YMCA of Greater Kansas City.

In February 1994, David A. Smith became President of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City, an agency from which he benefited as a child. In April 2002, Smith was elected to the Kansas City Missouri School Board as an at-large member and reelected in 2006.

Smith has received numerous awards and recognitions; among them include the Greater Kansas City Council on Philanthropy’s Non-Profit Executive of the Year in 2002 and the Centurions’ Bernard Powell Award from the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.  Smith was selected by the UMKC Alumni Association to receive the 2002 Alumni Service Award.  In 2003, Smith received a Distinguished Citizen Award from the National Conference for Community and Justice.

In 2005 Smith was recognized as the winner of the national Herman S. Prescott Award for exemplifying the principles of diversity, equality and empowerment in his work within the Boys & Girls Clubs movement.

Smith’s life work has focused on local and national efforts in the areas of youth development, mentoring and innovative not-for-profit management.