When news came that Holy Savior Catholic Academy had won the Spirit of Faith Award from Inter-Faith Ministries, the school’s principal, Delia Shropshire, couldn’t have been more pleased.
“It is a confirmation and affirmation that we are being true to our mission,” Shropshire said.
On Thursday night at the Beech Activity Center, the school – along with four other award winners – will be recognized at Inter-Faith Ministries’ Humanitarian Awards and Dinner.
It is the first year Inter-Faith has hosted the awards and banquet. But the Humanitarian Awards and Dinner is a longstanding tradition in Wichita.
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The first award was presented in 1951 when Bishop Mark Carroll was recognized by the local chapter of the National Conference of Christians and Jews. Since then, 167 awards have been given to local Wichitans and organizations.
The annual awards ceremony and dinner has not been held since 2009 when Diversity Kansas, formerly the NCCJ, hosted it.
“I had attended the dinner several times and knowing the caliber of people honored and the symbolism of the event, it seemed to make sense for Inter-Faith Ministries to bring it back,” said Anne Corriston, executive director of Inter-Faith Ministries. “I didn’t want to see the dinner vanish forever from Wichita, especially at a time when we see a lot of polarizing opinions.
“We want it to be an oasis of good news and good things happening in the community.”
Holy Savior, near 15th and Oliver, has an enrollment of 115 students in kindergarten through eighth grade. More than 85 percent of the students are minorities and 80 percent are non-Catholic. The school’s mission statement says it “will help African American and other diverse students build hope so they can be successful learners and successful in life.”
“While this award wasn’t designed for us, it was the perfect marriage for us,” Shropshire said. “It ties into our vision.
“I am so excited because it brings to light what Holy Savior does within the community – not just the Catholic diocese but greater Wichita.”
Other winners to be recognized this year are: Wichita Cargill Cares Council, which will receive the Golden Rule Award; Jack Focht and Gloria Farha Flentje, the Leadership Through Faith Award; Tamim Qaum, the Light of Faith Award; and David and Lynn Gilkey, the Peace by Piece Award.