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CoreFirst Bank & Trust Volunteer of the Year Award


2019 CoreFirst Bank & Trust Volunteer of the Year: Shanna Chavez, Topeka

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Sunflower State Games Volunteer Activities:

Track & Field - 9 years


Why do you Volunteer for the Sunflower state games?

When I think of the Sunflower State Games I think about community and giving back. I got involved with the games after my daughter joined a local track team, the Northeast Kansas Track Club. The SSG track and field meet was something that the club volunteered for and had been heading up for a few years, in large part due to the head coach of the club, Lance Lenard. This was a passion of his, to share the joy and knowledge of track and field and the long-term rewards of participating. It was through that passion that I got involved to not only support my daughter but to support the club. The passion that Lance had for the sport and the kids is what has continued my drive to support the games and athletes that continue to participate. It's through this relationship that I find my reason to be here year after year. I know that the rewards are great for many, the memories will last a lifetime, and the community becomes stronger as these events continue on. I volunteer to make sure the chance doesn't get lost but also to carry on the memory of a great man.


What is your favorite aspect of Volunteering for SSG?

I would say my favorite part of volunteering, especially while helping with registration, would be seeing the same faces return year after year. I have had the privilege of meeting some great people who come from all over the state and share their interesting stories with me. I also enjoy seeing the progress of athletes as they grow in age and ability. Track and Field is definitely a lifelong sport which leaves so much opportunity to see the growth in each individual. I hope to go out each year and have positive interactions with as many individuals as possible and make their time at the games the best I can!


Why are the Sunflower State Games Important to Kansas?

I believe that the Sunflower State Games is important to Kansas because of the sense of community it brings. It tightens the distance between the boarders of our state and it gives you a chance to meet others from outlying communities from all corners. It allows a place for likeminded individuals of all ages to come together and share in something that is important in their lives. The world is a big place and it can seem hard to find your group of people, those that share your passions or interest. Knowing that there is a weekend set aside for you to come together, with a fellow Kansan, to share that love and encourage one another is a special thing. I hope that many future generations of Kansans have that opportunity allowed to them as well.


Tell Us About Yourself:

  • Education: Graduated from Hays Academy of Hair Design in 1999.
  • Career: I have been a licensed cosmetologist for 20 years. I started my career in Ellinwood, KS from 1999-2001 before relocating to Topeka. After moving here, I spent 4 years on the staff at Avenue Hair Salon. For the past 14 years I have worked in downtown Topeka at A New Image Hair Salon as an independent contractor, recently managing it for the last year. I am currently working towards opening my own salon.
  • Family: I'm married to my husband Chris Chavez and we will be celebrating 15 years of marriage this September. We have one child, our daughter Olivia, who is in her 3rd year at Baker University pursuing a major in Chemical Engineering. She is also a member of the track team and of Alpha Chi Omega sorority.
  • Hobbies: When not working I enjoy spending time at home with my family; dinner and shopping with friends; cooking and baking for anyone who will eat the goodies.
  • Community Involvement: Northeast Kansas Track Club Board Member.

The Volunteer of the Year Award is designed to recognize volunteers who exceed expectations to support and contribute to the success of the Sunflower State Games.


Previous Volunteer of the Year Recipients

  • 2018: Kent and Mona Waltmire, Topeka
  • 2017: Sungkyu Kwak, Topeka
  • 2016: Marvin Neukirch, Topeka
  • 2015: Teddy Reiser, Topeka
  • 2014: Scott Cook, Topeka
  • 2013: Cody Purdum, Topeka
  • 2012: Alisha Wittstruck, Topeka
  • 2011: Joe Saia, Topeka
  • 2010: Cheryl Evans, Topeka
  • 2009: Fran and Alan Hug, Topeka
  • 2008: Hank Phillips, Topeka

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