On June 22, Missouri’s Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe presented the prestigious Senior Service Award at KC Ballet’s Bolender Center to Angela and John Walker for their tremendous volunteer work. The Walkers’ tireless efforts and unwavering commitment play a significant role in the ongoing success of Kansas City Ballet and the Ballet Guild.
The Lt. Governor’s Senior Service Award honors Missouri seniors who serve the state and its citizens with distinction. Angela and John are just two of sixteen statewide recipients in 2023. When asked about this prestigious award, the Walkers said, “We were surprised and honored!” In addition to the Lt. Governor, his wife Claudia as well as State Representative Emily Weber attended the ceremony. “We were very happy to meet [them] and that they got to see the beautiful Bolender Center,” the Walkers remarked. “It also meant a lot to us that our Kauffman Center and Folly Theater Volunteer Managers were there. It is such a pleasure to work with them, the KC Ballet Staff, and our fellow volunteers.”
Angela and John chose to move to Kansas City after they retired in 2015 from 22 years in the United States Air Force and an additional 20 years working for the Department of Defense. The opening of the Bolender Center and the Kauffman Center helped them make up their minds to retire in Kansas City. Angela and John have a long history with ballet, with a performance of Swan Lake in Berlin being one of their first dates in the 70s.
Service and Volunteerism to the Arts
Angela and John truly embody the values of service and volunteerism. Once settled in Kansas City, they sought ways to give their time and talent to the arts. They became season subscribers and joined the Ballet Guild and The Bolender Society. Angela became a regular volunteer at the Kauffman Center, and both also started volunteering at the Folly Theater.
“We wanted to get involved and support these organizations that we have the privilege of enjoying,” Angela says. “We find volunteering is a great way to do that.”
The Walker’s service with the Ballet has also extended to leadership roles. In 2017, Angela joined the KCB Board of Directors. The Bolender Society Committee, chaired by Angela since 2020, has overseen a 30% increase in giving by individuals in that time. John became President of the Ballet Guild for the 19-20 Season, facing the task of leading the 170+ member organization into the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Their service doesn’t stop there, however. The Walkers chaired the Nutcracker Ball in 2022. They achieved an incredibly successful event through their hard work and dedication.
Your Support Matters
Angela and John’s influential leadership and dedication serve as an inspiration to us all, and we look forward to their continued involvement in the Kansas City arts community. If you would like to learn more about ways you can make an impact with the gift of your time and talent, please visit our website!