Though it was a very stormy Monday morning – the 5th Annual Community Forum proceeded without a hitch! We started just a few minutes late while waiting for attendees to arrive after braving the rain, road closings and more. We even had some walk-ins!

There was a record crowd of almost 300 – and based on the comments and evaluations it will probably be recognized as the best Forum we have had to date. Actually, we hear that every year…so we know we have to keep working to make each Forum bigger and better than the last one. And we will!

The highlights from the 107 completed attendee evaluations include:

  • 99% rated the Forum’s content and format as either excellent (71%) or very good (28%).
  • 91% of the evaluations of speaker Candace Lightner rated her message as either excellent (72%) or very good (19%).
  • 78% rated PlexPod as either excellent (60%) or very good (18%).
  • An overview of attendees showed a nice mix: 38% (41) were first-timers; 35% had attended two (19%) or three (15%) previous forums, and 11% had attended all five!

Participants left knowing there is a lot that can be done to Change the Conversation, and after reviewing posts made from each table discussion, we developed the following

Action Steps:

  • Expand the Heartland Coalition to reflect more racially and politically diverse segments of our community
  • Continue supporting sensible gun control legislation at the local, state and federal levels
  • Generate more invitations to present gun safety information at schools, places of worship and at any other organizations interested in listening
  • Make more effective use of social media, including the Heartland Coalition Facebook page by posting personal stories about victims of all forms of gun violence (homicide/suicide/preventable deaths), among other noteworthy commentary.

In addition to group Action Steps, individual actions were also suggested:

  1. Have meaningful conversations by being open-minded and using facts rather than emotions; seek to understand the other’s point of view.
  2. Stand up and speak out at Town Halls/ Council meetings/ PTA meetings, etc.; and continue contacting legislators to oppose bad bills/actions and thank for good ones.
  3. And, of course: VOTE – to replace elected opponents of gun regulation with those who support it.

Our Generous Individual Sponsors

Dowd‐Burton Charitable Fund
Kristin and Dan Fromm
Christine and Jim Glenski
Peggy B. Strickland
Frank and Peggy Zilm
Sarah and Jon Baum
Judie Becker
Rev. Adam Hamilton
Alicia Jennings
Juliann and Paul Jorgenson
Judy and Bud Kahn
Linda Lighton
Barb and Jim McNeile
Lisa Schellhorn
Judy and Steve Sherry
Susanne Shutz
Roys Thedinger


Lise Bernstein
Maribeth Brennaman
Phillip Brown
Jan Brunks
Nancy Caccamo
Mary and John Conner
Jill and Bill Coughlin
Betty Crooker
Jannie and Patrick Cubbage
Charlotte and Bruce Davison
Enid and Jim Dickson
Shirley English
Vicki Ensz
Margaretha Finefrock In Honor of Peggy Zilm
Laura Fitzmaurice Amick
Lona and Neil Harris
Gerald and Gloria Hiller
Kay Johnson and Bill Koenigsdorf
Lynn Kaufman
Deedee King
Mike Landy
Steve Lopes
Rebecca Matthews
Shelley C. Melewski
Patty and Nick Nicholson
Linda Parkinson
Brenda Pelofsky, Fundraising Consultant
Sheryl R. Porter
Debra Rubin
Thomas Russell, DDS
Marva Shelton
M. Sheridan
Dr. Elisa Silverstein
Sheila and Ken Sonnenschein
Charlie and Jeanne Sosland Charitable Fund of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Kansas City
Susan Summerlin
Ginny Vineyard and Morrie Pitluck
Ann Weaver
Felicia and Seymour Weiner
Paul and Sue Willman

Our Generous Organization Sponsors

Children’s Mercy Kansas City
Grandparents Against Gun Violence
Stand Up Blue Valley
True Blue Women

Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences

AdHoc Group Against Crime
Community Christian Church
MainStream Coalition
Village Church Social Witness & Advocacy Task Force
Women’s Voices Raised for Social Justice
All Souls Unitarian Church
American Academy of Pediatrics, Missouri Chapter
Brady Campaign NE Kansas Chapter
Center for Practical Bioethics
Congregation Beth Torah
Congregation Kol Ami
Greater KC Interfaith Council
JoCo MoveOn
Justice and Witness Committee, Colonial Church, Prairie Village
Kansas City, Missouri Health Department
KC Veterans for Peace, Chapter 97
League of Women Voters of Johnson County
League of Women Voters of Kansas City, Jackson, Clay & Platte Counties
Moms Demand Action
National Council of Jewish Women, Greater Kansas City Section
New Reform Temple
PeaceWorks Kansas City
Saint Andrew Christian Church
Topekans Against Gun Violence of the Topeka Center for Peace and Justice
Village Shalom
Women for Kansas

In Kind Donations

John Baker, Graphic Artist
Karen McQuiston, Florist
Mark Short, Website
Lona and Neil Harris

We regret any omissions due to the printing deadline.

We hope you enjoy a few photos from this spectacularly rewarding event.