PITTSBURG — Southeast Kansas Community Action Program will work to spread awareness of its organization throughout this month.

The organization celebrated its past year of successes with its annual Day of Caring Friday at Memorial Auditorium. In partnership with Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas, the event began with a health fair for SEK-CAP’s 200 employees.

“Community Action Month is a wonderful time to recognize the impact Community Action has in the lives of families and communities across the country,” Chief Executive Officer Steven Lohr said in a release. “This past year, our organization served thousands of families in southeast Kansas, empowering them to attain self-sufficiency.”

The agency provides general public transportation rides, homes and apartments for rent, rental assistance, community engagement and planning, and grant development and administration.

During the event, SEK-CAP recognized staff anniversaries and honored volunteers, program participants, and partners.

“It was an incredible day filled with learning, laughter, and celebration of some special relationships that are so meaningful to our organization,” Lohr said.

Local winners included Randy and Teresa Bache, owners of Perfection Air, who received the 2018 Caring Service Award. Additionally, Crawford County Treasurer Joe Grisolano was recognized for 12 years as a member of the SEK-CAP Governing Board of Directors and chairman of the Audit and Finance Committee.

Krista Wood, Joani Burke, and Joe Broyles each received Spirit of SEK-CAP Awards, too.

At the end of the ceremony, the SEK-CAP Governing Board approved to name one of the buildings at the Choices Early Childhood Learning Center campus after employee Linda Broyles and her husband, Joe. The Joe and Linda Broyles Early Childhood Learning Center will receive a formal dedication ceremony later this summer.

Having served the agency for about 40 years, both Lohr and Linda Broyles are set to retire at the end of this year.

“We wanted to do something to honor them and I could not think of anything more appropriate than working with our board to name that building after them,” Lohr said. “That was my main takeaway from Friday’s event.”

The officer said he was proud to have worked for an agency dedicated to improving people’s lives.

“After 40 years of this work, I think what’s most gratifying is we’ve built the infrastructure and have great people in place to continue our work,” Lohr said. “We celebrated 52 years as a community action agency this year, and I’m confident we have placed our organization on firm footing to move forward for the next 50.”

 — Brandon Schmitz is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be reached at bschmitz@morningsun.net.