Distinguished Kansans for 2021 include Tony winner, Hutchinson CC team

Gannett Kansas recognizes six individuals as Distinguished Kansans for 2021. Jason Sudeikis was chosen Kansan of the Year. 

They are as follows:

  • Donna McClish, community
  • Sheinelle Jones, journalism
  • Bill Farmer, entertainment
  • Hutchinson Community College football team, sports
  • Lois Smith, theater
  • Ximena Garcia, government

Following are why they are being recognized today.

Donna McClish, Community

Donna McClish, an urban farmer in Wichita, believes everyone is family. With a motto of “All are fed. No one is hungry,” she starts her work each day buying from local farmers and dairies, boxing up their fresh vegetables, eggs and cheese and delivering the items to nursing homes and low-income residences in central Kansas.

McClish formed Common Ground Growers and Producers — the only group in Kansas that delivers fresh vegetables directly to seniors and low-income families. It is also the only mobile market in Kansas.

McClish, who grew up on a farm in Sedgwick County, said it is important for everyone to be at the table —  including farmers.

— Alice Mannette

More:Jason Sudeikis is Kansan of the Year for his eternally optimistic, Emmy-adored ‘Ted Lasso’

Sheinelle Jones, Journalism

Sheinelle Jones is a Distinguished Kansan for her documentary "Stories We Tell: The Fertility Secret."

Journalist and Kansas native Sheinelle Jones enjoys helping others. As one of the co-hosts on NBC-TV’s “3rd Hour Today,” this Wichita Heights High School graduate brings her vivaciousness and wealth of knowledge to her audience.

On Dec. 19, her documentary “Stories We Tell: The Fertility Secret” aired. As executive producer of the documentary, which highlights stories of Black women’s infertility, her passion for helping women, especially women of color, was vital. 

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