Beautiful People - Wonderful Friends!
ESA - Bringing Good People together!
Welcome to the Kansas ESA CHAPTER page sites!
We hope you will get to know us better by visiting the chapters on their page sites. Looking to the left hand column, these are the chapters that have set up a site page. They are listed in alphebetical order in the District where they reside and the city location where they are located. The information on their site space may or may not be current depending upon their updates but it will give you a look at some of their members and ESA activities. There are other chapters that have established their own websites and are linked to the Kansas Council website. These are managed directly by the chapters.
If your chapter would like to add to your chapter's information or a photo it is a very simple process. We encourage you to contact the webmaster with the form below. Your information will be added as you send it.
If your chapter would like to add to your chapter's information or a photo it is a very simple process. We encourage you to contact the webmaster with the form below. Your information will be added as you send it.
Some ESA History in Kansas
Epsilon Sigma Alpha International has enjoyed a long and rich history in Kansas. Our members have supported many philanthropic projects under our motto "the only right we have is to be of service to others." The 60th anniversary history of the Kansas State Council of Epsilon Sigma Alpha was prepared with love by the Kansas Volunteer Roadrunners. The basic history was researched by Bethry Porter Ingram (deceased) of the Iota Kappa Chapter, Wichita, when she served as Kansas State Historian in 1979. We have added additional history to her work that was compiled by Past State President, Cindy Rodman. This work is designated by indented italized entries throughout the history.
In 1930 Epsilon Sigma Alpha came to Kansas. Chapters were chartered in Hutchinson, Salina, Topeka and Wichita the same year the charter was issued to ESA in the state of Missouri. Today, only two of the original charter chapters remain active: Iota Kappa and Iota Mu of Wichita, 1933. Only two charter members remain, Pauline Cowger of Omicron, and LaGreta Bute-Brown of Iota Kappa. Today, within the borders of Kansas, membership is contained in 97 chapters with more than 1500 members.
During the early years, Kansas chapters were "islands unto themselves". Contact with other chapters did not exist, each functioned individually. Chapters within the same town seldom joined together in sorority activities.
In 1941 Iota Kappa and Iota Mu of Wichita hosted the Fourth National Advisory Council (NAC) convention in Wichita. Letters and flyers were printed and mailed to every chapter within the United States. Attendance was good, with many states represented. Officers from our National office in Kansas City were also in attendance. The next convention was scheduled to be held in Dallas, Texas, in 1942. However, due to the war, conventions were cancelled. Hildegarde Jaeger-Brook, NAC President, and her board were frozen in office until the 1947 National Convention in Oklahoma City.
A Kansas member, Bethry Porter-Ingram, Iota Kappa, Wichita, served as Second Vice-President of the NAC in 1947. In 1948, Bethry ran for the office of President with Faye Jordan, Iota Mu, running as her corresponding secretary. Unfortunately, Bethry was defeated.
Kansas members attending the convention in Oklahoma City were easily identifiable by their large Sunflower badges. The sunflower badge and hat became a Kansas tradition.
ESA in Kansas took an upswing after the 1941 National Convention held in Wichita. Chapters and members emerged from their "cocoons" and began working together. There was a war to contend with, however new chapters were organized and meetings held all over the state. Members became better acquainted and assisted chapters in obtaining new members. ESA enthusiasm began to "jell" in Kansas. Only gasoline and tire rationing prevented the ESA members from accomplishing more during this time. By 1946, there were 40 chapters within the state.
The Kansas State Council of Epsilon Sigma Alpha was officially organized in 1946 at Hutchinson. Zura Crockett-Dittman, Iota Kappa Wichita, was elected as our first president. She was re-elected at the second council meeting in March 1947 at Wichita. Eighteen months passed before the third council meeting was held in September 1948 in Salina. The Kansas State Council Constitution and Bylaws were adopted at Salina in September 1948. There have been changes and revisions through the years, but the guidelines were set, and the nucleus of our state council established. Now Kansas had the go-ahead to build a strong organization. Serving as President in 1948-1949 was Pauline Cowger, Omicron chapter of Salina.
For those of you who are too young to remember those days, they were the years immediately following World War II and everyone was exhilarated to have their sweethearts home from the war. The nation was beginning to prosper. It was at the 1948 Convention that the Institute of Logopedics - now Heart Spring - was adopted as our state project. That same year, ESA became an international organization when a chapter was organized in Holland.
Our fourth state council meeting was held in April 1949 at McPherson. Grace Stoner of Garden City, was elected president. Since then, the Kansas State Convention has been held in the spring of each year.
Beryl Elliott served as the 1952-53 state president. Beryl sent some interesting highlights of her year. As president of the Kansas State Council, one of her duties included editing the News & Views, a bimonthly newsletter which she hand addressed and foled for mailing. The IC Convention was held in San Antonio. Thirteen members from Kansas attended and they all wore "sunflower hats". She shared the following: "The day before I left for convention in Hays, I received word that a sister from McPherson had died. The council had never had a memorial service at convention, so while riding on the train, I wrote the first memorial to be given at our state convention." Former World War II General Dwight D. Eisenhower was elected the 34th President of the United States.
The following year, 1953-54, Fay Jordan of Wichita was installed as our State President. Her theme was "Cooperation - the 7th Pearl". She also was editor of the News & Views but adds that during her year it was determined that the News & Views job requried too much time of the President and so that task was passed on to a Junior Past President - so she got to do it twice! At the time she presided over the Kansas State council, there were no elaborate installation ceremonies and no banners. robert Palmer, the Executive Director of ESA from 1941, attending Fay's convention in Hutchinson. Because of Mr. Palmer's important role in the growth of ESA, he is recognized as our international founder.
The ESA chapters in Wichita Kansas hosted the 1955 International Convention at the Broadview Hotel. Convention chairmen was Faye Jordan and co-chairman was Lucille Harr-Crossno. Jessie McAdoo-Little, a member of the Alpha Alpha chapter in Dodge City was installed as the International Council president at this convention. In 1966 another Kansas Member, Irene Lassen-Ramsey, Gamma Sigma, Wichita, was installed as the International Council president at the convention in Kansas City Missouri. A large Kansas delegation attended that convention. In 1989, Kansas again will be honored with the election of Joan Friend, Plainville, to the office of President of the International Council.
In the ensuing years, Kay Harris LaVelle, Irene Lassen Ramsey, Hazel Hays, and Jerry Phillips led our council. At the 1956 International Convention, the ESA Disater Fund was established for the benefit of our sorority sisters. 1958-59 brought Mary Booe to the leadership of our council. Her theme was "Around the World with ESA".
Mildred Foley, Lois Mayall, Betty Guthrie, Louise Woods, Bonnie Gunter and Velma Harness followed as State Presidents from 1959-1965. These ladies all made significant contributions to our sorority as they led by example. During this time period, an exciting series of awards programs were introduced: the First Pearl and the Pallas Athene. As many of us will remember, the sixties saw the beginning of the "space race" between the United States and the USSR. LTC John Glenn was launched into space, February 20, 1962 and became the first astronaut to successfully orbit the earth. His capsule was named the "Friendship 7".
The first Kansas Leadership Conference was held in 1966 following the first State Presidents Leadership Conference held by headquarters staff in Colorado. In 1974 and 1975 there were two conferences, one in the eastern section and one in the western section of the state. This was done to accommodate chapters in each section and avoid excessive travel miles.
Dee Quade-Hyle served as our State President in 1965-66 - her theme was "Sea of Service". It was during Dee's year that the ESA Fund for the Institute of Logopedics was established. The ESA Fund is an acronym for - Emergency Service Action Fund. This fund assisted the children who attended the Institute and added financial support. Martin Palmer, the director of the Institute of Logopedics passed away that year and Charles Wurth was named to replace him. She shared that the dresses warn at her installation in Liberal were blue and yellow and have long since been tossed away!
Katy Tyler Mills's theme in 1966 reflected the image using "Friendship in Orbit". Other news items during the late sixties highlighted the conflict in Vietnam. Kathleen Lutz, Gladys Shook, Lorita VonNeiderhausen and Maxine Koerner McKeever served as state presidents during that period. This time frame also saw the addition of the Outstanding Youth Award and the DIANA Award to honor young people and women outside the sorority who have made significant contributions to humanity.
In 1948 the state was divided into eight zones, according to the proximity of chapters, and considering the membership within the area. As new chapters were organized and chartered, revisions and amendments were required to the zone boundaries. In 1949 eleven zones were established; in 1956 thirteen zones were established in order to group chapters into shorter traveling distances; finally in 1966 the boundaries were redefined for 12 zones. Today (1989) the state remains divided into 12 zones. Chapters within each zone elect a zone chairman prior to the annual convention. The elected zone chairmen are installed at the annual state convention and are considered a member of the Kansas State Council Executive Board. Prior to the first Kansas State Council Board Meeting, each zone chairman prepares a zone roster, listing all the chapters in their respective zone. The roster identifies chapter officers and individual members mailing address and telephone number. Copies of the zone roster are made available to all Kansas State Council Board Members.
Most zones schedule four meetings during the fiscal year (June 1 through May 31). Each zone has its own Constitution and Bylaws. The Kansas State Council First Vice President serves as the zone chairman advisor, providing assistance to the individual zone chairman.
State conventions, held in the spring of the year are hosted by chapters within the selected zone. The zones bid for the annual state convention at least three years in advance. It is the responsibility of the current year Recording Secretary to secure the bid for the upcoming convention three years hence. This assumes that the person serving as Recording Secretary will serve as President of the Kansas State Council three years hence.
The Kansas State Council Board meets four times per year. The second meeting is hosted by the Wichita City Council - Zone 5 and is identified as the Tea for State Officers. The fourth Kansas State Council Board Meeting is held in conjunction with our annual convention. The Kansas State Council Board meetings are open meetings, and members are encouraged to attend and participate. This has proven very productive, and provides a means of better communication between the members, the chapters and the Kansas State Council.
NEWS & VIEWS is our state publication. News and Views had its beginning in 1945, as a one page mimeograph bulletin published by the Publicity Chairman of Iota Kappa. It was a round-robin letter, keeping members up-to-date on who had transferred or moved because of the war. Copies were mailed to the membership, to other chapters upon request, and to the National office in Loveland, Colorado. Marie Miebrugge, our National Supervisor, suggested the NEWS & VIEWS be enlarged to include items from other chapters, and thus provide a means of keeping the entire state membership informed. Following our state meeting in 1946, it became three and four legal pages in length.
In 1947 the News & Views was adopted as the official state publication, however, no provision was made for printing and postage expense. Ruth Wright continued as the Editor of News & Views, with the Wichita chapters assisting. That year the Wichita members sold newspapers, old magazines, and sold raffle tickets, raising money to defray expenses. State chapters mailed checks to help defray expenses. Many chapters sent in news items. Issues were mailed to the chapter presidents to be distributed to the members.
In 1948, it was voted the publishing cost would be paid by the members in the form of State Membership dues. It was also decided the State President would edit the paper during her term of office. This was later changed and became the responsibility of the Junior Past President. Later, this position changed again, to a board appointment.
The first printed issue of News & Views was released in March 1949. Issues were mailed direct to all members who had paid their state dues. Today, the News & Views is published five times a year, August, October, January, March and June. From its small beginning, it has become an outstanding publication. It was awarded first place in International competition in 1953 and 1967, and has received other place awards through the years. The News & Views has consistently placed in the top ten News Bulletins at the International Convention.
In 1947 the first Kansas State Philanthropic Project was to provide VIZ projectors for Veterans Hospitals. More than $400.00 was raised during the year, and machines were purchased for several hospitals
In 1948 the Institute of Logopedics in Wichita was chosen as the Kansas State Philanthropic Project.
The Institute was founded in 1934 by Dr. Martin F. Palmer, a pioneer in the field of speech handicapped, for the purpose of bringing "Speech to the Speechless." Today, as then, the program is retraining and rehabilitation of the speech handicapped; training teachers in the profession of logopedics; conducting research as to cause of speech defects and development of new and improved techniques for prevention and correction. Hundreds of people condemned to a lifetime of silence are speaking today, because of work and training at the Institute.
The Kansas State Council Second Vice President serves as chairman of the state philanthropic project. Each year the chairman presents a fund raising goal and each year the members surpass the goal. In 1977 over $8,000.00 was contributed. In 1979 the goal was $10,000 to commemorate the Golden Anniversary of ESA. and in 1988-1989 the goal was $35,000.
In the beginning, Kansas ESA financial support went to individual children. In 1960 monies over and above the goal were placed in a Scholarship Fund for trainees at the Institute. In 1964, the Emergency Service Action fund was established. This fund is available to the Institute to provide assistance to clients experiencing financial difficulty. It is exactly what the name implies – an Emergency fund – it allows the Institute to take immediate action, to continue or to provide service to handicapped children when there is no other alternative. In 1964 $5000 a year was placed in the fund, with overage going to the scholarship fund. Kansas ESA members provide the only such funds available to the Institute without restriction.
1970 saw the beginning of the ESA Foundation. This is a tax-exempt, 501 C 3 non-profit arm of the organization. The ESA Foundation draws most of its members (men or women) from ESA but the membership is open to anyone interested in the mission of the Foundation. Members work unselfishly to develop programs beneficial to all people, including an extensive scholarship program which has experienced continuous and outstanding growth. The theme for the ESA Foundation is "Serving the World Community ... Because We Care".
In 1971 Anne Fields Langenfeld was installed as our state President. Her theme was "The Dawing of a New Day" and used the sun as her logo. Anne says her most memorable moments was that the "Fan for Anne Dance" was retired. She also discovered she had hepatitis immediately following her convention and was admitted to the hosptial for treatment! Anne now resides in El Paso, Tx and continues to be active in ESA. She has served as the New Mexico State President as well.
In 1972 a new program was launched –– "Fun in the Sun", to improve the playground area. The Institute personnel presented suggestions and ideas – a shelter house; walks wide enough for wheel-chair students; tractor tires filed with sand and shaded by umbrellas; a stripped-down car; see-saws; a 6 foot polyhedron for climbing – picnic tables; slides; swings, etc. Kansas Chapters really became enthused with this project and had special money making plans to purchase equipment and shrubbery. By the end of the year most of the items were in place. The project was completed within the next two years; an outside water fountain was installed; tables and benches placed in the shelter area; an "Old Woman's Shoe" playhouse-slide; and more paved runs so children could ride their "wheelies."
Jean Wells was our 1972 State President. Her husband, Bill, built and painted a large shoe slide that resembled the nursery rhyme drawing of "There was an old women who lived in a shoe", which was donated to the Institute of Logopedics. During that year, ESA responded to Danny Thomas's request to adopt St. Jude Children's Research Hosptial in Memphis, Tennessee to help fight childhood cancer. Since that time, members have been actively involved supporting the hospital in a variety of ways. In 2005 ESA celebrated giving $100 million to St. Jude Children's Hospital.
"Have a heart, lady", a small boy asked at an ESA Day of Love. The heart was a candy heart that had been held too long in a small crippled hand. It once was red, but now a faded pink. One leg was misbehaving for Danny, but he was having a wonderful time at the party. Money can't prevent these children being born with handicaps, but money can help them adjust to halfway normal lives. Kansas ESA members realize this, and every year contribute more and more to help these children.
Betty Spicher Hawkins was elected Kansas State Council President in 1973. Her theme was "Sorority Silhouettes".
Dottie Keenan served our council in 1974. Flowers overflowed throughout the year as we, "Shared the bouquets from Your Garden of ESA". One of the first summer leadership conferences was held under her tutelage. It was held in August in Dodge City. IC Headquarters sent individuals to lead this event. They also hosted a "Miss Kitty Night" at the Longbranch Saloon! Dottie, Joan Friend and Opal Regier made a trip to Memphais for a leadership conference and guess what? They were caught in a tornado! Memphis lost electricity so, needless to say, it didn't become much fun walking down eight flights of stairs in heels and carrying suitcases. However, the real highlight of the trip was a tour of St. Jude Children's Research Hosptial. Dottie's convention was held the following spring in Hays!
Mary Daniels, our 1975-76 State President moved from Ness City to live in Lexington Kentucky in her retirement years to live close to her daughter. Florence Ellis, from Junction City led our state in 1976 with a theme of "ESA in God's Wonderful World." Florence also ran successfully for many IC elected offices but never achieved the office of International Council President.
In 1977, Joan Friend was installed as our 31st State President. Her logo that year was clouds with circles and rainbows which fit perfectly with her theme, "Beyond a Dream ... Circles of Friendship". Elvis Presley died shortly after Joan's election, but she was fortunate to visit Graceland that same summer! The Kansas Care and Share Fund that assists Kansas members in times of disaster or extended illness was just getting off the ground. There were 130 chapters in Kansas at that time. Her convention was held in Topeka, the same town in which she won her first elected office. Joan went on to win election on every International Council office including IC State President. In her professional career she started as a teacher and is currently a principal in western Kansas. Opal Regier followed Joan as our State President in 1978-79. Her theme was "The Reality of Sisterhood in ESA".
In 1979, Kansas ESA members received the Martin F. Palmer Humanitarian Award; the highest honor presented by the Institute for outstanding service and contri-butions given through concern for communicatively handicapped children and adults. Kansas ESA members have given freely of themselves since 1948. Contri-butions since that time total well over $500,000 (total monetary and gifts in kind participation).
Joyce Marrs led Kansas in 1979-80. Her theme, "Take Time", made an impact on may of us. During that year Joyce challenged Judy Ary to our own "Bike Ride" at the Institute of Logopedics during our November Teat and Tour. (Do any of you remember those bike ride events? The ESA Bike Rides were started to raise money for St. Jude's and Geri Benton from Kansas was a Bike Ride chairman.) Joyce also represented ESA with the IOL presented Martin Palmer Humanitarian Honor to our sorority. She participated in ESA's 50th year celebration at the International Convention in Denver and was on stage with Danny Thomas. She traveled extensively during her year as President as well as the Colorado, Nebraska, and Oklahoma State Conventions.
The seventies also saw the introduction of the AMBASSADOR Program designed to recognize those members who promote the growth of our organization.
Jean Beetem and Judy Ary followed as state leaders in the early eighties. 1982 saw the Internatinal Council adopt Easter Seals as our second philanthropic project. Marilyn Herren, our 1982 state president, remembers that the February Board meeting had to be postponed because of a bad snow storm. "Happiness is ... ESA" was Marilyn's theme. During her convention, Kansas recognized our first Diana Award recipient and that we had five outreach Seminars that year. Geri Benton was our 1983 president, "Let the Sun Shine In".
Joan Bourn, was giving her acceptance speech, when the tornado sirens began to howl in Wichita. It was Sunday morning and it was anything but sunny and no one was allowed to leave the hotel. The 1984-85 theme was "Treasures from the Sea" and yes, you guessed it, seashells were in abundance. Attendance at that convention was between 500-600 members. During her year, Kansas ESA gave the largest cash/gift in kind donation to the IOL to date. It was also the last year the the Bike Rides were held on that beautiful campus. The ESA Court project was started. Joan continued her journey in ESA being elected IC President in 1998-99. She said, "..that as a state president this one thing she did not aspire to but was honored to serve and a year she'll never forget." Ronald Reagan was President and George Bush (George W's dad), the Vice-Presiden, when she was state president. She also shared that a new car cost only $8,800, a gallon of gas was $1.10, a gallon of milk $2.26 and minimum wage was $3.35 - remember those days?
Many remember Kay Ross and her "ladybugs". Her colors were red, black and white and her theme, "For All Things a Season in ESA". The valentine parties and dances were started as part of our Day of Love activities at the IOL during her year as president. Florence Ellis, Kay's Parliamentarian, helped to get our state dues increased. Kay started the Lamplighter raffle ticket sales project and it's still going strong.
In 1986, Verneene Forssberg was installed as our State President. She challenged the membership to respond and raise leadership ideals with her theme, "ESA .. The Wind Beneath our Wings". Her logo was the Pegasus and her colors, blue and white. The ESA court was dedicated and many gifts were given to benefit the living areas for the on-campus residents by beautifying the landscape and updating the residence houses of the IOL. You might recall two BEAVERS showing up to entertain the children of the IOL in the Fall activity - the kids loved them! Verneene has served three elected terms on the ESA Foundation Board of Directors since her term as state president. She served in many positions on the Foundation Board of Directors, including two years as its chairman. This lady is height impaired making it difficult to see over the podium but a box helps. Verneene will also serve on many appointed position on the International Council always staying active in ESA.
In 1987 ESA was again honored by the Institute with the establishment of an ESA Residential Court. Through the years benefactors of the Institute have been selected for this unique honor - to have a residential court named in their honor. We are proud of this accomplishment, and have donated funds for the landscaping of our court. The ground breaking ceremony, held on June 24, 1987, was participated in by 35 Kansas members.
Shirley Campbell, our 1987-88 state president, chose teal and rose for her colors and used hot-air balloons as the logo for her theme, "ESA ... An Adventure". The Kansas State Council Scholarship Fund began that year. Shirley's district (J) gave her the initial money as a gift towards that endowment. She really enjoyed visiting the zones and having the opportunity to visit with those members you might not otherwise have a chance to see. Shirley worked for Kansas State University for many years before her retirement. Both Shirley and husband Joe are avid "purple" fans. Joe was almost as active in ESA as Shirley being a member of the "Men of ESA" & putting on many convention skits that delighted everyone.
The next lady to lead our state, is very eloquent with the English language. She selected a red heart with a staff of music notes for her logo. She sang songs of love for ESA all year. Coleen Cape, our 1988-89 state president chose, "ESA ... A Love Song" as her theme. Both of her son's and a daughter in law sang at her installation. One of the first challenges Coleen took up was to participate in the 155 mile bike ride from Memphis to Little Rock. She packed up her van and along with Joan Friend, Verneene Forssberg, and Sondra Messenger - they rode and helped other bikers ride across these miles into the convention site in Little Rock Arkansas. It was an adventure as over 65 ESA Bike riders road accross the bridge into the convention hotel parking lot. Not being a person that can tolerate the heat (and it was HOT) Coleen was pretty ill that day. Coleen took her love song to the international level serving in many appointed IC appointments, working her way through the elective offices and served as the International Council President in 2005. Her theme for that year was "Embrace the Power ... Free your Spirit".
The Institute of Logopedics is not the only philanthropy of our Kansas sisters. Chapters contribute both time and money to other projects within their own area and community. Kansas members also serve and support the International Projects: the ESA Disaster Fund, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, and Easter Seal Society.
The following year, 1989-90 - we brought in the clowns! Kay Foster's installation saw blue, white, and brightly colored balloons to fit her theme, "Clownin' Around in ESA". In fact, her dog "Bridge", was in the installation - masking as a circus dog. Clowns were abundant that year - you could find them everywhere. Kay participated in the second International bike ride that ended at the Southfork Ranch in Dallas Texas that summer. Kay recalls in particular the summer council meeting in Pratt where members were entertained and swam at the CROMER PIG FARM! Overall, Kay insisted that every should have fun in ESA! And she still does. This was also the year that Joan Friend was installed as the IC President!
In 1949 Pauline Cowger set aside time for a "Remembrance Hour" at her convention in McPherson. In 1955 Irene Lassen-Ramsey appointed the first State Chaplain (Carol Steeples) to serve on the Kansas State Council. The chaplain would be in charge of future memorial services at the state convention. The first "ESA Sunday" was observed November 13, 1955. For ten years Kansas ESA members observed ESA Sunday during the Thanksgiving season. At the 1965 International Convention in San Antonio,a Kansas Resolution "That ESA International observe the first Sunday in May as ESA Sunday" was adopted.
In 1990, Charlene Hansen was installed as our president. Her theme was "ESA .. God's Hand's" and used a background of purple and white with praying hands for her logo. One of her most memorable moments was her church choir traveled to Wichita to sing at her installation. Charlene is very talented as she is a lady who stitches our All faiths Flag which she presented in the opening ceremonies. The US congress voted to deploy troops to Saudi Arabia to shield the mid-east from the insurgent forces of Saddam Huessain, which resulted in a very short lived conflict called "Desert Storm."
The Kansas State Council became a member of the Kansas Council of Women on January 26, 1957. This council is made up of 29 other women organizations of Kansas and has national affiliations. It represents several hundred thousand women in Kansas. The Kansas Council of Women, through the present and past state presidents of member organizations, carry on an effective progressive program, which contains special interests of each of the member groups, educational, cultural, citizenship, professional, patriotic, and auxiliaries to medical groups. The field of interests are well covered and there always is an active, interested group on the alert and aware of the many needs and how best to attain the ultimate goal.
It is quite an honor for the Kansas State Council to be a member of this organization. A meeting is held in January of each year in Topeka, and since 1957 the Kansas State Council has had good attendance at this meeting.
Margaret Shook took the helm for Kansas in 1991 and everthing was royal blue and silver as we celebrated "ESA ... Superstar". At Margaret's installation her honor guard dressed in Tuxedo's and a video of all the chapter member's children played a starring role. Stars were abundant that year. The Executive Board decided to establish a long range plan for Kansas to aid in setting some goals to help our council become more effective.
In 1957, at the convention in Garden City, the past state presidents of the Kansas State Council decided they would start meeting as a group, twice a year. The first meeting would be in January in conjunction with the Kansas Council of Women meeting; The second meeting would be at the annual state convention. They chose "The Lamplighters" as their name, and designed a lovely badge for their members to wear in recognition. One of the purposes of this organization is to work with, and assist, the Kansas State Council board when needed. In 1963, the Lamplighters prepared and published a booklet, "The History of Epsilon Sigma Alpha Sorority."
In 1992, "ESA ... The Wings of Love" prevailed with Donna Dawson as our state leader and butterflies flourished. The "Hats for Hope" project was introduced and has been a successful undertaking for Kansas ESA and the many people it assists since that time. Joan Finney, the Kansas governor, was the first woman to sign the ESA Proclamation. Donna represented Kansas at the IC convention in Georgia and was pleased to escort Joan Bourn as Joan had won her first elective office on the IC Board.
When the Juniorette program was instigated, Kansas was quick to form Juniorette chapters. Then when the Juniorette program was abandoned and the VIA program established, several VIA chapters were chartered throughout Kansas. Members of these chapters have served as pages at state convention. The very first DESA member was Bonner Koerner, daughter of past state president Maxine Koerner McKeever. Bonnie was presented at the convention in Phoenix Arizona. And now that the DESA program has been re-emphasized by Headquarters, Kansas is proud to have a DESA chapter in Wichita, KS. The DESA chapter was sponsored by Chi Epsilon #4925, and chartered in 1988.
Shelah Goyer charmed the membership in 1993-94 as we rode a "Carousel of Hopes and Dreams". Shelah organized and held the first Executive Board retreat to offer the opportunity for the board to build strong teams and set plans and goals for the year. The Executive board met at the Bicycle Club then went to the resident homes of the IOL for team building exercises. Reteats have been held every year since this time. Shelia represented Kansas at the IC Arizona convention that summer. Bill Clinton was elect President, and there were big floods in Kansas City and Manhattan that year.
With teddy bears and hearts abound, Susan White, our 1994-95 state president helped us to find "A Place in the Heart". Three mini-leaderships were held that summer in Topeka, Hays, and Hutchinson. During the Hutchinson leadership, the International Council President Cathy Holsted showed up as a surprise guest! Susan presided at the 50th Kansas State Council Convention in Hutchinson. B.J. Clark, ESA Executive Director was the keynote speaker and Judy Johnson was our IC Representative. Kansas received the Million Dollar Plaque for total donations to St. Jude Children's Hospital during the IC convention. On April 19, 1995 - our hearts as well as those of millions of people across the country went out to the families and victims of the Oklahoma City bombing. This was an unbelievable disaster that we remember vividly even today.
"We are the World" is the theme used by Mary Hill, our 1995-96 state president. Her logo was a heart with the earth imprinted on it. During her year, we established designated council meetings to recognize and emphasize the importance of our various state and international projects. During her conventon, Kansas's first St. Jude walk was held raising $6,000. Mary's family is a four generation ESA sisterhood - her mother, her daughter Cheri and her granddaughter, Michelle who is a DESA. Mary's mother Lucille was a Past State President. Mary is retired after 40 years of service to Boeing but is still keeping busy with ESA and other various community projects.
In 1996, we saw "ESA ... Pandamonium" across the state. Our president, Helen Stitt, encouraged members to help our environment and endangered species. Chapters responded with recycling projects and donations/adoptions to local animal shelters and zoos. This was our first STATE PRESIDENT'S CHALLENGE. During her installation, Helen was startled as the "panda" on stage came to life - which was a definite surprise to her. Kansas was in the TOP 10 Circle of Life states recognized at International Convention. We also participated in the capital campaign to build a new campus for Heart Spring. Our two yeaer commitment to achieve a $10,000 goal for a hearing treatment room was achieved and exceeded in one year! Helen's son, Jason, received the Kansas ESA Outstanding Youth Award during her convention.
Karen Lowery, represented Kansas in 1997-98 as we commended "Earth's Special Angels". Since Karen was using angels as her logo, her executive board decided she needed a little stimulus and showed up at the first council meeting of the year with little horns - devil's horns that is! IC challenged the membership to begin, or continue with a long range plan. Kansas had one in place but it needed some fine tuning. This was the year the world lost Princess Diana in a fatal car crash and the Pathfinder landed on Mars.
"The Power of the Dream" and houses dominated during 1998-99. Our president, Cindy Rodman followed up with the long range plan which was adopted in 1999. Karen Knorp-Brown, in particular, spent many hours designing, then implementing, the specification we now use. Our prayer chain was established and has become a regular email transmission thanks to then Chaplain, Joy Pierson. ESAKS.ORG (ESA Kansas.ORG), our very own website was launched this year due to some very innovative women who are very computer literate - Susan Winters and Joy Pierson. Our Parliamentarian, Helen Stitt, was faced with by-law reviews and updates. Kansas celebrated the installation of Joan Bourn as the IC president. We also celebrated 50 successful years with Heart Spring and chapters were recognized at state convention for thier lasting contributions. Verneene Forssberg created a delightful history that combined our generations and Kansas ESA which she shared at convention. Terrorists invaded Kosovo and "ethinic cleansing" was rampant. US forces were sent to act as peace keepers and are still in the region today.
Linda Schmidt encouraged all of us, as women, to begin new endeavors - new challenges that we many have always wanted to do but didn't have the time or encouragement to try previously. 1999-2000 was definitely a year to acknowledge that we had "Come A Long Way Baby". Linda's logo was babies and the evolution of womanhood was evident at all the council meetings. Kansas had a big part in the 1999 IC convention in Portland as our own Joan Bourn presided at that convention. Verneene Forssberg leaving the ESA Foundation board after two consecutive terms was honored as a Dixie Palmer lady along with Joyce Maars. There was a Y2K scare with the coming of the year 2000 but little if nothing happened to computers and electronic systems around the world.
A list naming all the Kansas ESA members who have served on the National Advisory Council, the International Council, either elective or appointive, and appointments by World Headquarters, would be a quite lengthy. It would cover 48 years from 1941 to date, and would include one or more from Kansas for each of those years.
Kansas is proud of its ESA history. Members today are grateful for the work of the founders of our state organization – for all those members who continue to work and serve since the first chapter was chartered in 1930. The Sunflowers of Kansas will continue to carry the ESA torch in years ahead, and history will record even greater accomplishments in the future.
HEARTSPRING - 75 SWEET YEARS!!
Heartspring is celebrating 75 Years of Service in 2009. In 1934 Dr. Martin F. Palmer and the University of Wichita created the Department of Speech Sciences. At that time limited services were available for individuals with disabilities. Also that same year a $2,000 gift was given to establish the Flo Brown Memorial Laboratory as part of the speech science department. By 1939, the laboratory evolved into what would be known as the Institute of Logopedics (IOL). The Institute was a place for logopedics (speech-language pathology) majors to take classes and receive hands on experience. Thru his vision Dr. Palmer founded an organization with complete residential car for individuals with multiple disabilities instead of sending individuals with cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, and other disabilities to a state institution. With this vision, Dr. Palmer created an opportunity.