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Barbara Millard receives Great Bend Greater Award
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Barbara Millard, right, receives the Great Bend Greater Award from Kiwanis President Barb Esfeld, Wednesday at Walnut Bowl. - photo by Susan Thacker/Great Bend Tribune

It wasn’t easy to schedule time with Barbara Millard so she could receive the Great Bend Greater Award.
Millard is so busy with volunteer work that it took some effort to convince her to attend Wednesday’s Great Bend Noon Kiwanis Club meeting, where she was given the group’s annual honor for an individual who has made Great Bend a better place to live.
It’s traditional to surprise recipients of the annual award. To lure Millard to Wednesday’s meeting, Kiwanis President Barb Esfeld invited her to present a program about the local Birthright organization, for which she volunteers. That backfired when Millard suggested the program director, Betty Schneider, should give the presentation.
Eventually, Barbara Millard’s husband Terry was brought in on the plan and a cover story was concocted. They attended the meeting and Schneider spoke about Birthright, a non-profit, volunteer organization that helps women facing unplanned pregnancy.

“We give love to babies and moms,” she said. Located at 1420 Wilson St., Birthright is open from 1-3 p.m. on Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesdays, 5:30-6:30 p.m. on Thursdays, and at other times by appointment. There is a toll-free, 24-hour hotline, 800-550-4900. The group can provide maternity and baby clothes, and works with Catholic Charities of Southwest Kansas to help women find other services, including adoption.
The services provided are all confidential.
Abortion isn’t something that Birthright will help with. However, Millard said the group is not political.
“We’re just for the mother and the baby. We treat them with love and respect.”
Millard noted that Birthright was originally created with young unwed mothers in mind, but nowadays women in their 20s and older may seek out the services offered. She recalled one woman in her late 30s who initially sought information about abortion.
“It’s wonderful when you can make them realize this baby has a right to be born,” she said.

Great Bend Greater
After Schneider and Millard finished talking about Birthright, Esfeld began her “Great Bend Greater” presentation.
“It takes a lot of volunteer work to make a good community,” Esfeld said. “People willing to share their time, talent and love. People willing to go ‘over the top’ and help.”
Then she explained the award and began reading her nomination for this year’s recipient.
“My candidate is one of the most caring people I have ever met,” Esfeld said. “She cares for people 100 percent of her time and always with a loving smile.”
Millard is also active in the Prince of Peace Catholic Church, serving on ACTS Retreats (Adoration, Community, Theology and Service), Daughters of Isabella, Altar Society and other committees. She is also a volunteer for hospice, social services, Court Appointed Special Advocates and Meals on Wheels.
“Her husband Terry stated that sometimes she leaves the house at 8 a.m. and does not return until around 10 and her time is filled by doing volunteer work,” Esfeld said.
Other recent recipients of the Great Bend Greater Award have included Dale Oliver, Mark and Krista Ball, Leroy Weathers, Barry Bowers and Joe Boley. There was no award recipient last year.