Toast to Our Towns Gala

Humanitarians...Our Heroes.

Each year, THCF recognizes individuals whose generosity in charitable giving and volunteerism tremendously impacts the region we serve.  We are privileged to recognize those whose philanthropy make our community a better place to live and serve.

Our 2018 Heartland Humanitarian of the Year is Bob Glaser. 

The impact of Robert (Bob) F. Glaser’s tireless work in the community is felt throughout Eastern Jackson County and beyond. Bob has been a champion of volunteerism in the Eastern Jackson County community for more than fifty years. His lifelong dedication to service and compassion have made him both an invaluable asset to our community, as well as a leader in philanthropy for the region. 

After moving to the Kansas City area from Texas, Bob worked for Sears as a store manager in Kansas City, eventually heading up the Independence location until 1992. Upon retiring from Sears, Bob held several prominent roles in Eastern Jackson County nonprofits, including serving as the first President and CEO of the Truman Heartland Community Foundation and Director of Planned Giving for Heart of America United Way. Bob transitioned into the world of banking when he joined Summit Bank of Kansas City as their VP of Community Development. Bob is currently the Community Development Partner for CommunityAmerica Credit Union.

Throughout his work in both the nonprofit and private sectors, Bob has gained a reputation for his skill of connecting people to philanthropic causes through his work with both the Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce and the Independence Chamber of Commerce. He is considered the go-to connector for many charities and municipalities and is highly regarded for his ability to bring people together for a common cause.

Over the years, Bob has served with more than 30 nonprofits in our communities: United Way fundraiser and board chairman’ Eastern Jackson County Betterment Council founding member; Jackson County Historical Society board member; Independence Memorial Building and Palmer School Restoration Campaign chairman; Independence Chamber of Commerce chairman; Hope House Capital Campaign steering member; and Community Services League board member.

Bob has been awarded several honors over the years for his work in the community. He was the recipient of the Independence Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Service Award in 1997 and was named their Citizen of the Year in 1998. Independence named him their 2001 Toast to Our Towns Citizen of the Year. Bob was awarded the 2013 Lee’s Summit Community of Character Lifetime Achievement Award and in 2018 was named the Lee’s Summit Hometown Hero. He is most deserving of being recognized as the 2018 Heartland Humanitarian of the Year at this years Toast to Our Towns Gala.

Bob is a devoted husband to his wife, Alissa. They spend time enjoying the company of their five children, thirteen grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.  

Past Recipients

2017 – Brad and Sandy Cox
2016 – Terry and Betty Snapp
2015 – Mike and Jan McGraw
2014 – Norman Swails
2013 – Dr. Bridget McCandless
2012 – Dave and Shirley Wurth
2011 – Gene and Joanne Cable
2010 – John and Nancy Kimak
2009 – Dave Jeter and Jim Kidwell
2008 – Larry Moore
2007 – Silver Legacy Award, Harry S. Truman Library and Museum
2006 – Dr. Frederick Hahn
2005 – John Jordan “Buck” O’Neil
2004 – Junior Service League of Independence 
2003 – Dr. Robert E. “Bud” Hertzog
2002 – Allen Lefko
2001 – Helen French
2000 – Chuck and Colleen Foudree
1999 – Bob Reeds
1998 – David P. Ross
1997 – Barbara J. Potts
1996 – Byron Constance

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