BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. – Mayor Carson Ross is proud to announce that the 2011 Missouri Municipal League Westgate Division’s recipients of the “Civic Leadership Award” were Blue Springs residents, Bill Essmann and Eleanor Frasier.
The Civic Leadership Award celebrates the work of outstanding business and civic leaders and their contributions to the improvement of their communities. Mayor Carson Ross, current president of the Missouri Municipal League describes Essmann and Frasier as “extraordinary residents that have enabled positive growth and community partnerships in Blue Springs.”
Essmann and Frasier were honored at the Missouri Municipal League’s Civic Leadership Awards Dinner on Thursday, July 21, 2011 at the Adams Pointe Conference Center in Blue Springs, Missouri.
Bill has been active in the community since moving to Blue Springs in 1994, serving on several boards and commissions including the Blue Springs Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors; Blue Springs Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors; St. Mary's Medical Center Foundation Board of Directors; Blue Springs Business Association Board of Directors; Truman Heartland Community Foundation Blue Springs Advisory Board; Friends of Scouting, Heart of America Council, BSA, Blue Springs Chairman; Blue Elk District, Heart of America Council, BSA, Advisory Board; and he served as the Blue Springs F.I.T. Chair.
In February 2011, Mayor Ross appointed Bill as the Committee Chairperson for the Blue Springs Public Safety Sales Tax Campaign. Essmann’s determination was key in the committee’s successfully passage of the April 2011 election campaign for a one-cent sales tax for Public Safety in Blue Springs. Bill was able to recruit over 100 volunteers and lead a grass-roots campaign including speakers’ bureaus, phone banks, letters, articles and signage. Through the committee’s efforts, the Public Safety Sales Tax passed nearly a 60 percent approval rating. Special thanks to Tom Echerd, Maureen Johnson, Chris Henning, and Melodie Chrisman for their especially hard work and hours of dedication to the campaign and to their city.
For the past 23 years, Eleanor has been a powerful community leader. She has brought together various civic organizations for the common goal of bringing about positive change in the Blue Springs community. Eleanor’s first love is public art and she was the charter member of the Arts Advocates Committee which became the Blue Springs Public Art Commission. The Commission is responsible for the 33 pieces of public art enjoyed by the Blue Springs community.
For the past two years, Eleanor guided Blue Springs into the national spotlight with her work on The Wall That Heals – Blue Springs. Through her relentless passion for the Vietnam Veterans in our community and her desire to give them the “Welcome Home” they deserved, Eleanor spearheaded the most successful The Wall That Heals event in the history of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.
During The Wall That Heals – Blue Springs event over 50,000 people gathered in Pink Hill Park to remember loved ones, share their experiences with others and learn more about the Vietnam War era. The event registered over 2,000 Vietnam Veterans for their choice of a commemorative medal, lapel pin or patch to thank them for their service to our country. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund collected over $10,000 at The Wall That Heals – Blue Springs event, the highest amount collected in a host city to date.
“I am honored to recognize Bill Essmann and Eleanor Frasier for their amazing commitment to this community,” said Mayor Ross. “It is with gratitude that I extend this honor for their dedication to Blue Springs and helping to make our City one of progress and promise.”
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