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Vote for Hoisington Citizen of the Year
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HOISINGTON — The following individuals and groups have been nominated to be Hoisington Citizen of the Year for 2020. The Hoisington Chamber of Commerce is accepting votes for the winner. (One vote per person.)

Vote online now through noon on Monday, May 31. You may also email the Chamber at or cut out this article and circle the one you want to vote for. Mail or drop at Hoisington Chamber of Commerce, 123 N. Main Street, Hoisington, KS 67544.

The 2020 Citizen of the Year will be announced at the June 3 Hoisington Chamber Coffee.

The following information about the candidates as submitted by nominators was posted by the Hoisington Chamber of Commerce.

Phil and Celia Webb

Phil and Celia have led the Historical Society and worked tirelessly to continue with RSVP Thrift Store when Phil’s mom, Selma retired. They have always volunteered and supported this community when they were needed.

Wayne Kaiser

Wayne has served the community for over 30 years. Always willing to help an individual out when needed especially with car trouble. Always supportive in the community. Wayne Kaiser has lived here his entire life and has worked in Hoisington for over 40 years. He also has been active for the St. John parish by being in charge of the cemetery and marking graves, etc. He is well known to the general public and is overall a great nominee to represent Hoisington especially with what has been going on in the world today.

Teri Doze

Teri loves the children of this community so much that she follows their sporting careers from middle school all the way through high school. She cheers them on and supports them 100%. Once she’s had them in middle school, they are always her kids.

James Schneweis

Richard Laurinec, one of many of Jim’s son-in-laws, came to Kansas in 1982 from Dearborn Mich., on a whim. He met the Schneweis family and fell in love. Jim’s commitment to the town showed itself in having Cardinal Pharmacy for so many years. The late days and the call-outs in the middle of the night showed his genuine dedication to his job and community. Unfortunately, the Hoisington Tornado ended that and forced retirement. But still he worked off and on at the hospital as a pharmacist. 

Karolyn McCaslin

Helped our blind neighbor next door for several years.

Debbie Stephens

Debbie has done so much for the youth in our community. Founding GPS Kids Club so kids have a place to go after school where they are well taken care of, fed, given help with homework, and taught fundamental life lessons. GPS also helps parents who would otherwise not have childcare for their school age kiddos. Now with GPS care, she is helping alleviate the childcare shortage in the community which will help attract and keep young people in the community so that it can continue to grow. Her activity in her church community is also admirable. She leads youth service at Hoisington Methodist Church as well as helping facilitate church growth which is desperately needed. Debbie is kind, thoughtful and truly called to help young people. She is proud to call Hoisington home and is always finding ways to help others. 

Clara Barton Staff

For their dedication during the pandemic especially the vaccine clinics.

Jim Blackwell

Jim Blackwell loves Clara Barton Hospital and the Hoisington community. He is committed to building a healthier environment where he lives and works. He most recently demonstrated this when he partnered with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas to remove barriers and to engage the community in ways that enable and encourage healthy lifestyle choices. This partnership brought the community $650,000 in healthy initiative improvements which have been allocated to the City of Hoisington, the City of Claflin, the Chamber, schools, work sites, grocery stores and other organizations. Since taking the position as President/CEO at Clara Barton Hospital he has focused on providing residents a high level of health care close to home. He has brought in new state-of-the-art medical technology such as 3-D mammography and surgical robotics. He has expanded the selection of specialty providers that come to Hoisington to see patients to now include diabetic education, cardiology and rheumatology. He continues to bring in high quality medical professionals to serve the Hoisington community: Dr. Kyle Renner, Family Practice and soon to come Dr. Kayla Johnson, Pediatrics and Dr. Roxanne Stiles, Surgeon. 2020/2021 was a real challenge as he led the hospital and the community through the COVID-19 pandemic. He managed his way through PPE shortages, quarantines, screening requirements, social distancing, sanitation stations, face masks, COVID-19 testing, staff shortages and telemedicine visits. He worked closely with the hospital staff, the Barton County Health Department, and the community to effectively deliver the COVID-19 vaccination as quickly and efficiently as possible to ensure the safety of our community. Through it all, Jim continues to keep pace with the current health care trends and is again advancing the services offered to the community with a brick-and-mortar expansion that will accommodate patients’ needs for years to come in both Hoisington and Great Bend. His innovation and forward thinking keeps him focused on the future. 

Dr. Keith Ritter

Dr. Ritter has served the community for several decades, 62 years to be exact. In February of 2020 he was recognized as being the oldest practicing dentist in Kansas. He has been active on the staffs of both Central Kansas Medical Center in Great Bend and Clara Barton Hospital in Hoisington. He is a past president of the Central District Dental Society, Central Kansas Dental Society, Hoisington School Board, Kiwanis, and Barton County Heart Fund. He also served on the Board of Directors at Hoisington National Bank. Dr. Ritter has dedicated his life to the community. He opened his dental practice in 1958 and continued to practice here for 62 years. When many people thought he would retire after the tornado, he rebuilt and didn’t retire until 19 years later. He has been a member of many dental associations. He was on staff at Central Kansas Medical Center and Clara Barton Hospital. He has served on the Board of Directors at Hoisington National Bank. He has been a past president of the Hoisington School Board. He is also a supporter of the Clara Barton Hospital Foundation, our school district and our area Ducks Unlimited.

First Responders of Hoisington

A first responder is a real-life superhero. During the 2020 pandemic they were the ones who had to respond immediately fearlessly and effortlessly to all and every person.