Kudos to National Philanthropy Day Honorees


Hearty congratulations go out to longtime supporters of Starlight Theatre who won National Philanthropy Day Awards on November 18. The awards are sponsored annually by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Mid-America Chapter.

Starlight Board member Jean Deramus Wagner and her twin sister, Jill Deramus Dean, received the group’s Outstanding Fundraiser Volunteer award. The Deramus sisters have long been dedicated to making Kansas City a better place for families, children and animals. They are credited with helping to transform Wayside Waifs into a nationally recognized organization, and also giving their time and financial support to the Kansas City Zoo, American Red Cross, Junior League of Kansas City and many more local nonprofits, including Starlight.

Polsinelli received the Business Philanthropist of the Year award. Since 2010, Polsineli has contributed more than $3.7 million in philanthropic gifts and sponsorships nationwide, half of which benefitted the Kansas City area. The firm also encourages its attorneys and staff also to donate their time and legal counsel to causes they are passionate about. Their pro-bono work, which totals more than 95,000 hours to date, has aided numerous Kansas City organizations, including the United Way, Boys & Girls Clubs and Starlight. Russ Welsh, Polsinelli chairman and CEO, is a past chairman of the Starlight Board of Directors.

All of us at Starlight thank Jean, Jill, Russ and the entire team at Polsinelli for their tireless efforts on behalf of our theatre and the greater Kansas City community!