John Cassidy (Class of 1951) - John is the founder of the Winter Sports Program for Special Olympics of Kansas. As President of the Kansas City Ski Club, John got involved with the fledging Winter Sports Program in 1984. It became his passion. Working with volunteers and staff from the Ski Club and Special Olympics Kansas, John created the program that has been named in his honor, the John L Cassidy Heartland Winter Games. The competition includes over 350 athletes each year competing in Alpine and Cross Country Skiing, Snowshoe Racing, Speed & Figure Skating and Floor Hockey at venues including Snow Creek in Weston, MO.
In addition, John has served as a national coach and special advisor for the Special Olympics US program, attending various international competitions and training programs. John served on the Special Olympics Kansas Board of Directors for 18 years, 2 of those as Board Chair. He also served as a member of the Special Olympics International US Leadership Council from 2003-2008, including time as Chairman from 2005-2007.
Bob Beltz (Class of 1968) Bob Beltz is a minister, teacher, author and film producer. After graduation from Center High School in 1968, Bob went to UMKC where he earned a bachelor's in economics. He then moved to Denver where he earned his Master of Arts and Doctor of Ministry degrees from the Denver Seminary. Bob was founder and then Teaching Pastor of Cherry Hills Community Church in Denver, and Senior Pastor of High Street Community Church in Santa Cruz, California.
Bob joined the Anschutz Corporation of Denver, Colorado as a special advisor to Philip Anschutz, Chairman of the Board. In this role Bob helped develop, produce, and market films for the Anschutz Film Group, parent company of Walden Media (Holes, Because of Winn-Dixie, Around the World in 80 Days, I Am David, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) and Bristol Bay Productions (Ray, Sahara). Bob was the co-producer of Crusader Entertainment's film Joshua, based on Joseph Girzone's best-selling novel, and helped develop and produce Amazing Grace: the William Wilberforce Story.
Bob is the author of eleven books including the best-selling Daily Disciplines of the Christian Man, his latest novel, Somewhere Fast, a story about God, Harley-Davidsons, Route 66, and the spiritual journey, and Real Christianity, an update of William Wilberforce's book from 1797, done in conjunction with the film, Amazing Grace. As the President of The Telos Project ministry, Bob continues to write, teach, and speak both nationally and internationally for both Christian and secular groups. He has been a featured speaker at the International Convention of the YMCA, the Council on National Policy, and the CEO Forum at the Aspen Institute. Bob is currently the Senior Pastor at Highline Community Church in Denver.
Past recipients are:
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