Kim Thomas, the first African-American woman to serve as a mayor in the state of Kansas, will speak at the Great Bend NAACP chapter Freedom Fund Banquet at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 13, at the Great Bend Senior Center, 2005 Kansas Avenue in Great bend. In addition to Thomas’ speech, there will be entertainment and a dinner for a donation of $20.
"She is an interesting person, and our NAACP chapter is very honored that she will be the guest speaker this week," said Thelma Russi, local NAACP branch president. "All interested people in the community are invited to attend."
She was mayor or Stockton, and among her many other accomplishments, Thomas has been a member of the board of directors of the League of Kansas Municipalities, the Rooks County Economic Board, and Kansas Municipal Utilities and has served as president of the Northwest Kansas Mayors Association. In addition, she has coached softball and wrestling, besides giving private flute and saxophone lessons.
The title of her presentation on Saturday will be "Why Being Involved in Your Community Matters."
Thomas is a descendent of a family that settled in Nicodemus in 1877. Located north of Hill City, Nicodemus is the only remaining African-American town west of the Mississippi and it has been designated as a national historic site. Thomas has served on the Nicodemus Historical Society Board.