2015 GBL Scholarship Recipients

For the past 5 years GBL members and sponsors have generously contributed to fund our annual scholarship program. Each individual represents having a unique value of personal motivation with “no self-limitations.” They illustrate giving to others, leading by example and are role models among their peers.

This year’s 7 winners of the GBL Community Foundation Award were selected from 39 well qualified applicants from the Crawford County High Schools. This year’s scholarship recipients are:

Alixandra Beezley

Girard High School, daughter of Jerome and Mitzi Beezley. She is attending Kansas State University. Whether skiing down the highest Colorado mountain or being in the homecoming queen’s court, Alix feels extremely blessed. Her family has given her all the strength, support and love she needs to live a healthy, free life. “Ain’t no mountain high enough…” for Alix Beezley.


Alexandria Bennett

Girard High School, daughter of Tim and Danielle Bennett and Chris and Roxanne Nutt. She is attending Nursing School at PSU. Through her extreme work ethic, Alex graduated high school with 24 college credits. Her family has already taught her what love, respect and caring for others can do. Being a nurse will allow Alex to bring “sunshine on a cloudy day” to her patients.


Sage Mahnken

Pittsburg High School, is the son of Bryan and Julie Mahnken. He is currently attending PSU on a football scholarship and interested in plastics engineering. On or off the field, Sage thrives on working, leading and mentoring others. His down-to-earth upbringing, family ties and love for his fellow man fast forwards him to greatness. “#9 knew you would be an extraordinary man!”


Trace McKnight

Frontenac High School is the son of Todd and Kelli McKnight. He is attending Abilene Christian University, Abilene, Texas to study nursing. While still in high school, Trace became a certified nurse aide. There is no doubt his career in medicine has only begun… and his next mission trip abroad will not only reward Trace, but everyone he treats and meets.


Stephanie Oyibo

St. Mary’s Colgan High School is the daughter of Edith and Alphonusus Oyibo. She is attending the University of Arkansas. Coming to the USA from Nigeria, she had to overcome a fear of flying which opened her door to adventure. She has seen the great need for medical help worldwide and will be an excellent doctor wherever she wants to go! Her motto “tackling any challenge one step at a time” is perfect. She also loves this advice from a mentor “as we grow, it’s less important to have lots of friends and more important to have REAL ones.”


Haley Uttley

Pittsburg High School, is the daughter of Paul and Kristen Uttley. She is attending William Jewell College to study political science/international relations, possibly law in the future. Being best friends with a deaf student in high school taught Haley about living/loving without words or sounds. She will no doubt be a great role model for women everywhere. As Helen Keller stated “the most beautiful things cannot be seen or touched, they must be felt with the heart.”


Jacob Zortz

Southeast High School is the son of Bryan Zortz and Jennifer Lawrence. He attends Pittsburg State University and is studying Nursing. Jacob knew from the age of 13 that he was born to fly when he joined the Civil Air Patrol and ultimately was promoted to Cadet Captain. Our community will be in great hands with Jacob working in ROTC as a flight nurse. We salute you, Jacob, and as the song says “I believe I can fly and touch the sky.”



Additionally, two football awards are given each year. The GBL in coordination with MyTown Media and Kpreps.com awarded the “Dylan Meier GBL Kansas Player of the Year” 2014 to Denzel Goolsby, a Wichita Bishop Carroll High School running back that deservingly received a multitude of awards for his senior season. He is the son of Dinah Goolsy and the late Les Goolsby. Denzel is currently a freshman at Kansas State University, being transformed into a wide receiver under the tutelage of Bill Snyder and his team of coaches.

What made Denzel stand out among the applicants was his strong off field commitments to family, church and community. Denzel stated that “this award is a daily reminder to be “someone who puts others before himself and to never take life for granted and live each moment to the fullest.” View the full April 2015 story by Mark Schremmer on Kpreps.


Our other scholarship is for the fifth recipient of the Pittsburg High School Senior Football Dragon Award. This award is given to a player that represents a diligent work effort, team leadership, and a passion to improve daily for Dragon football. This year’s winner was Dante Richardson, son of Matt and Susan Richardson. He is currently attending independence Community College on a baseball scholarship. Besides his four seasons as a Purple Dragon, Dante was a multi-sport athlete also playing basketball and excelling in baseball. Dante’s work ethic and energy awaits his new direction at Indy.