American Royal honors top volunteers

April 28, 2013 (Kansas City) – American Royal volunteers were celebrated at a dinner and awards ceremony hosted at the American Royal Complex on April 15, 2014. As a non-profit charity, the American Royal relies on volunteers to contribute thousands of hours to events including The World Series of Barbecue®, livestock show, equine shows, ProRodeo, parade and many more throughout the three-month season.

“Our volunteers are the backbone of our organization. Last year American Royal Volunteers donated thousands of hours of their time and expertise to help fulfill our mission of providing valuable learning experiences that in turn promote hard work, leadership skills and agrarian values throughout our community,” said Bob Petersen, President and CEO of the American Royal. The event was hosted by FOX4 morning anchor and American Royal volunteer, Mark Alford. More than a dozen awards were presented throughout the evening including Lifetime Achievement, Shining Star and Rookie of the Year. Those receiving awards for their efforts during the 114th American Royal season include top volunteers Carol Petrus, Phil Petrus, Nancy Ryger, Kay Jeffries, Jenny Stuerzl, Glynda Miller, Sister Mary Laura Huddleston, Gene Harp and Sharon Harp. Each of the top volunteers donated more than 200 hours to American Royal events. For his years of service and dedication to the American Royal, R. Crosby Kemper was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award posthumously. The Family Service Award was presented to Greg and Nicci DeMint for their outstanding leadership during the Quarter Horse Show. Rookie of the Year honors were presented to Mechelle Pouncy of Kansas City Southern for her work during the World Series of Barbecue®, livestock show and UPHA National Saddlebred Championship. Cooperation, optimism, perseverance and enthusiasm are celebrated through the C.O.P.E awards. Recipients of the 2013 C.O.P.E awards are Ellie Dunsmore, Nancy Ryger, Gabriel Esteban and Christine Raya. Shining Star awards were presented to Renee Haren, Carol Carlson, Ann Rowland, Megan Shay, Lisa McCann, Megan Bubb-Cribb, Chris Cribb, Kay Jeffries and William Howard. The William and Margaret Harsh Award, the highest award given to an American Royal volunteer each year, was bestowed upon Jenny Stuerzl, a dedicated American Royal volunteer who contributes time and talent to equine shows, livestock shows, World Series of Barbecue®, the American Royal museum and in administrative capacities. The Harsh Award was established to honor the memory of William Harsh, former American Royal President and his wife, Margaret. It is appropriately named after two of the American Royal’s most devoted and beloved volunteers. The American Royal organization is enriched by the hundreds of volunteers that serve the mission and purpose throughout the year. To learn more about volunteer opportunities at the American Royal, visit

About the American Royal

The American Royal Association is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation that has been a Kansas City tradition since 1899. Each year more than 270,000 people attend events at the American Royal Complex. In 2013, the Royal was able to give $1.4 million in scholarship and educational awards. In addition to its educational mission, the American Royal generates some $60 million of economic impact, $4.4 million in local tax revenues, and supports 450 jobs.


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