2022 Community Gratitude Luncheon
at the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center

Thank you to everyone who supported this event; it was an amazing afternoon with amazing people. If you missed it, you can watch it by clicking the link above!

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First Call's Annual Community Gratitude Luncheon celebrates those who work tirelessly to reduce the impact of alcohol, drugs, and addiction by recognizing champions in the field.


Join us as we recognize those who share First Call's mission and message: recovery is possible, substance use disorder is a treatable disease, and help is available—not only for those with addiction but also affected families and friends. 

* Please note: Due to covid restrictions at the Kauffman Foundation, limited single seating and sponsorships are available. We encourage you to attend virtually when sold out. Please review covid safety measures here. Thank you in advance for your understanding as we prioritize attendee safety. 

Congratulations to our 2022 Honorees!      
  • Excellence in Board Leadership: Richard D. Rhyne, Lathrop GPM 
    Recognizes a past or present member of the First Call Board of Directors who has provided exemplary leadership and advocacy of the agency’s vision and mission, elevating and advancing First Call’s work providing vital clinical and prevention services within our community.

  • Lifetime Achievement: Merry Jones-Walzer, Kansas City Municipal Division 16th Judicial Circuit (Retired) Given to a person who has dedicated their longstanding career to work in the substance use disorder treatment, recovery, or prevention fields.

  • Professional of the Year: Carolyn Whitney, Sisters in Christ
    Given to a person who is committed to providing quality direct services in the substance use disorder treatment or prevention fields.

  • Recovery Champion: Dr. Lateshia Woodley, Kansas City Public Schools
    Given to a person who has reduced stigma and improved access to recovery through peer support, advocacy, or public policy change.

  • Young Leader: Tyler King
    A youth or young adult advocate working to prevent substance use and reduce substance misuse in the community.

  • Philanthropist of the Year**: Cross Foundation, Inc.
    Given to a funder whose consistent support has had a significant impact on First Call programs and operations.

  • Volunteer of the Year**:  Jackie Boan 
    Given to an individual whose generosity with resources and experience has a significant impact on First Call programs and operations.  

Family members of First Call employees are not eligible for consideration.

**Please note: Philanthropist of the Year and Volunteer of the Year honorees are selected by an internal committee voting process at First Call.