In the years after the shooting at Sandy Hook, Donna Euston of Leawood realized “nothing was going to be done legislatively, so I’ve got to do what I can to protect kids.”
That realization brought her to GAGV. Donna and her husband Larry are regular volunteers with Lock It For Love, distributing free gun locks and gun safety information at community events. The couple met when she was a flight attendant and he was a pilot for TWA. Donna has three stepchildren and four grandchildren, but Donna’s no ordinary grandmother.
During the months the couple spends in Florida, she’s won several medals ice skating with Tropical Spice on Ice, a competitive women’s skating team. When here, Donna also volunteers with Heart to Heart International in Lenexa. She helps assemble health and hygiene kits for the homeless and for victims of natural and man-made disasters in the U.S. and around the world.
In June, Donna received GAGV’s Pat Russell Volunteer of the Quarter award. It’s an ongoing memorial the GAGV Board started three years ago after the passing of Board member Pat Russell. Pat was a retired nurse who served on GAGV’s Board of Directors and coordinated volunteers in its early years.
“Preventing gun violence was a very important issue for her,” according to Pat’s husband, Dr. Tom Russell, a retired Kansas City dentist who now teaches full time at UMKC’s dental school. “In GAGV, she found a group of people she enjoyed working with for a common purpose.”
As a boy growing up in Kansas City, KS, Tom did target practice for fun and in the Navy “developed a respect for guns.” He continues supporting GAGV, as a Grand Member and as a generous sponsor of the annual Community Forum, to be held this year on Monday Oct 11.
In addition to GAGV, Tom supports his church, Saint Andrew Christian Church in Olathe, and as a lover of classical music, the Kansas City Symphony. His two daughters and their families live in the metro area. He has three young grandsons including twins born last July.