Cowley College conducts veterans salute during Picnic in the Park

Pictured, from left, Doug Smith and Cowley College president Dr. Dennis C. Rittle. Photo by Abby Hollins/Cowley College.

Sumner Newscow report — Serving as the sponsor of the Kansas Wheat Festival’s Picnic in the Park, Cowley College partnered with the Noon Lions Club, the Wellington American Legion Riders and the Kansas Army National Guard to honor veterans Wednesday evening at Wellington’s Sellers Park.

The event featured the Wellington American Legion Riders, the singing of the national anthem by Amanda Zogelmann, and a surprise presentation of a Quilt of Valor.

Cowley College president Dr. Dennis C. Rittle, who is a veteran and member of VFW Post 1254, welcomed everyone and thanked the veterans in attendance for their service. He also thanked those in attendance from Sumner County for supporting the new Sumner Campus, which will begin fall classes at the Short General Education Center and Technology and Innovation Center in August.

Jan Grace, Cowley College Campus Operations Officer, served as the emcee of the event.

Trustee Glennis Zimmerman made a Quilt of Valor that Rita Figg and Joan Himberger presented to Doug Smith, who served in the Army from 1966 to 1974. He was a captain in the Airborne Rangers in Vietnam and received numerous medals during his service.

Mrs. Figg and Mrs. Himberger are part of the South Central Kansas Quilters Quilt of Valor group.

Quilts of Valor are stitched with prayers, love and healing thoughts.

“It is an expression of gratitude meant to thank and comfort veterans,” Mrs. Figg said. “These Quilts of Valor say thank you for your service, sacrifice and valor in serving our nation.”

Wellington Mayor Shelly Hansel also spoke at the event.

“We are lucky and blessed to have Cowley College in Wellington and Sumner County,” Mayor Hansel said.

The Picnic in the Park also featured several vendor booths and fun children activities.

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