Tonganoxie EAST group celebrates year with storyteller
Joyce Slater recounted her childhood Monday at the Myers Hotel.
She spoke of sleeping in a bedroom with several siblings.
“Now that was cooperation,” she said. “Most of us today are very sound sleepers.”
Slater, who has been an active storyteller since 1989, served as speaker for the Entrepreneurs Achieving Success Together annual celebration.
She is director of River and Prairie Storyweavers, a storytelling guild in the Kansas City area. She also has served as artistic director of KC Storytelling Celebration, a storytelling festival sponsored by Maple Woods Community College since 2000. She also serves on the board of the National Storytelling Network for five years.
Slater spoke to roughly 40 people in attendance for the EAST event. She told various stories about her life and growing up, including one involving a car ride through Arizona. It was her job to hold a cloth diaper out the window to help dry it.
On one occasion, the diaper slipped out of her hand and out of sight.
“I thought I wouldn’t have to be the diaper dryer anymore,” she said.
However, future diapers were tied to her wrist so as not to repeat the incident.
At the end of her talk, Slater asked those in attendance to get to know someone next to them by learning about each other’s first job. A few volunteered to tell the story of their neighbors’ first jobs.
In closing, she urged the group to work together to accomplish common goals, as working collectively accomplishes the goal better than individually.
EAST vice president and event organizer Monica Gee handed out 10 lightbulbs to EAST members. The bulbs were to symbolize bright new ideas that help businesses continue to flourish and move forward. Each of the bulbs had a quote in it. She asked those with the bulbs to read the inspirational quote and apply it to their own business.
The group also presented its first Rising Sun award, which organizer and EAST treasurer Keyta Kelly explained is given to an EAST member who has contributed significantly toward making positive change and growth in Tonganoxie.
The inaugural award went to JW Evans of Evans Real Estate.
“He makes a difference through his words, actions and pocketbook,” Kelly said, referring to Evans’ generosity in helping in the community.
Evans became a bit emotional upon accepting the award.
“It’s a pleasure for me to live in this town for 80 years,” he said.
Monday’s festivities started with a cocktail hour and then a welcome by Kelly. Tonganoxie Police Chief Jeff Brandau gave the blessing. Hot Mess BBQ and Catering by Tonganoxie City Council Member Curtis Oroke served dinner. Slater then spoke and Kelly provided the awards presentation.
EAST meets at 8 a.m. Fridays at Flashbacks at Fourth and Main streets in downtown Tonganoxie.