2019 Celebration Evening 

Elizabeth Vargas,

Emmy Award-Winning Journalist, in Conversation
Lara MoritzKMBC 9
News Anchor

Thank you for everyone who attended this event on September 26, 2019

at Unity Temple on the Plaza.

Elizabeth Vargas

About Elizabeth Vargas


Emmy Award-winning journalist Elizabeth Vargas has traveled the world covering breaking news stories, reporting in-depth investigations, and conducting newsmaker interviews. She is the host of “A+E Investigates.” She most recently co-hosted the hit newsmagazine show "20/20" and previously served as co-anchor of "World News Tonight," anchor of "World News Tonight Sunday," news anchor and frequent co-host on "Good Morning America," correspondent for "20/20" and "Primetime Thursday," and was the co-anchor of "Primetime Monday."


She has interviewed leaders from around the world including President Bush from the oval office in the White House. Vargas has also anchored ABC News coverage of live, breaking news stories including the deaths of President Ronald Reagan and John F. Kennedy, Jr., and covering Hurricane Katrina's devastation from the U.S. Gulf Coast. Vargas won an Emmy in 2000 for Outstanding Instant Coverage of a News Story for anchoring live coverage of the Elian Gonzalez case.


She joined ABC News from NBC News, where she was a correspondent and anchor, primarily for "Dateline NBC" and "Today." Also at NBC, she served as a correspondent for the newsmagazine "Now With Tom Brokaw and Katie Couric" as well as substitute anchor for the weekend editions of "NBC Nightly News."


In 2016, Vargas released her memoir, Between Breaths: A Memoir of Panic and Addiction. The book details her struggles with anxiety and alcohol, and tells a powerful story of healing and recovery.


Vargas graduated with a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo., where she began her broadcasting career as a reporter/anchor for KOMU-TV.

Lara Moritz

About Lara Moritz


Lara anchors KMBC 9 News at 4 p.m., 6 p.m., and 10 p.m. Her most memorable interview to date is a one-on-one interview with President Barack Obama.


Lara earned her bachelor’s degree in English from Knox College in Galesburg, Ill., and earned her master’s degree from the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kan.

A native of Wisconsin, she calls Kansas City home now. “The people I meet while covering stories help me grow as a human being. Some stories are humbling, some stories inspiring every single story valuable.”


Lara has won two Edward R. Murrow awards and two Emmy awards for her reporting. She has completed three full marathons, two half-marathons and one triathlon. She takes boxing classes a couple of times a week and enjoys running, lifting weights and walking.

First Call Celebration Evening 


Every year, First Call hosts the Celebration Evening featuring fundraising activities and a premier speaker. In addition to raising awareness about First Call and substance use disorder as a disease, the event raises money for the services First Call provides to over 60,000 individuals annually, including substance use disorder assessments, outpatient treatment, recovery support, family services, a crisis call center and community prevention education.

  • Black Facebook Icon
  • Black Twitter Icon
  • Black LinkedIn Icon


HealthyKC-Certified-2018-Gold-Logo (002)

Missouri  816.361.5900 | Kansas 913.223.0747 |  9091 State Line Road | Kansas City, MO 64114


First Call is a federally recognized tax-exempt agency. All contributions are tax deductible under IRS code 501 (c)(3). 

24/7 Crisis Call Line