Prairie Village honors 3 residents’ contributions with Community Spirit Awards

Deborah English and PV Mayor Eric Mikkelson

Prairie Village resident Deborah English, left, receives a community spirit award at Village Fest 2022. Photo credit Juliana Garcia.

Prairie Village honored three residents with its annual Community Spirit Awards at VillageFest 2022.

What are the Community Spirit Awards? Each year at VillageFest, the city’s Independence Day Celebration, the city honors a selection of residents, businesses or organizations for their contributions to the city.

  • There is a lifetime spirit award and citizen spirit awards, as well as organization awards and business or business leader awards.
  • Honorees must be nominated, and exemplify a “caring spirit” for the Prairie Village community.
Ann Lilak and PV Mayor Eric Mikkelson
Ann Lilak, left, receives lifetime spirit award from Mayor Eric Mikkelson, right. Photo credit Juliana Garcia.

The honorees: This year, the following three residents received a Community Spirit Award.

  • Ann Lilak, a lifelong Prairie Village resident, received the lifetime spirit award for her years of volunteerism with the VillageFest committee and the Prairie Village Foundation. Lilak not only planned the Fourth of July event for four years, she brought Shop with a Cop and Back to School with a Firefighter to the city.
  • Deborah English, who has lived in Prairie Village for more than three decades, received a citizens spirit award. English spent eight years volunteering with the environmental committee for VillageFest, cleans up Brush Creek weekly and helped her disabled next door neighbor run errands.
  • Mark Morgan, a resident for 32 years, also received a citizens spirit award. He’s been an advocate for tree planting and education in the city for decades, and recently spearheaded a historic signage project throughout Prairie Village. Morgan was out of town on July 4 when awards were presented.

Key quote: “People say [Prairie Village is] ‘perfect,’ but there are people who really need help,” Lilak told the Post, referring to people who benefit from the Shop with a Cop or Back to School with a Firefighter events. “And that was, I think, my true calling.”

Key quote: “When we first moved here, we were the youngest on the block and we did a lot for our neighbors, and now people are doing things for us,” English told the Post. “It’s a nice balance. I think it’s a community where people really do care about their neighbors, and because it’s a smaller city, people are more involved.”