Open Petal Award

The logo for Johnson County Community College has an open petal as a reminder that as long as there are new ideas to present, new challenges to accept, new visions to pursue, this institution will always be open to them.

Mary Birch (left) and Candy Merrill

Mary Birch (left) and Candy Merrill

The Open Petal Award honors those who have made a significant contribution in the area of fundraising for the Foundation.

Mary Birch has served tirelessly on behalf of the Foundation going back to the early 1990s. She has served for a decade on the Foundation board and in that time has graciously accepted everyone role she’s been asked to play from Director, to Executive Board member to Treasurer and chair of the investment committee. Mary also was an instrumental catalyst behind the launch of our culinary campaign.

In addition, Mary served two consecutive years at the head of the sponsorship committee for the scholarship gala Some Enchanted Evening, followed by a third year as Chairman of the event. In the three years under Mary’s leadership, approximately $1.5 million has been raised to support student scholarships.


  • 2014 - Mary Birch
  • 2012 - Stewart and Esther Stein
  • 2011 - Dick Bond
  • 2010 - Brad Bergman
  • 2009 - David Wysong
  • 2007 - Lewis Nerman
  • 2006 - Mack Bowen, Steve Wilkinson
  • 2004 - Jill Gerlach, Jerry Nerman
  • 2003 - Jack Ross
  • 2002 - Alicia Mitchelson
  • 2001 - Brian Gardner, Joe Johnson
  • 2000 - Harvey and Beverly Bodker, Mark Gilman, and Marilyn McConnell
  • 1999 - Bob Lytle, Carl Seaton, Norm Polsky
  • 1998 - Judy Stanton, Rich Guthrie, Margery Lichtor, Elaine Perilla
  • 1997 - Nelson Mann, Betty Keim
  • 1996 - Dick and Barbara Shull, Don Forsythe
  • 1995 - Lynn Mitchelson, Ruth Cousins
  • 1994 - Larry Winn, Marti and Tony Oppenheimer, Sue Bond
  • 1993 - Senator Bud Burke, Virginia Krebs, Jon Stewart