2018 GBL Scholarships, Awards, Volunteer & Club Recap


With the help of our GBL Friends and Sponsors we proudly present our 2018 annual awards. From a very large group of Crawford County high school applicants the following seven individuals were selected. Each individual represents having a unique value of personal motivation with “no self-limitations.” They illustrate strong academic achievements, extracurricular participation, giving to others, leading by example, and are role models among their peers.


Abigail Dainty
2018 graduate of Frontenac High School - daughter of Julie and Timothy Dainty - We love Abbey’s discovery that “she didn’t choose teaching, it chose her!” By working on and perfecting her strengths, she will grace the world with her presence.

Kaitlyn Kidd
2018 graduate of Pittsburg High School – daughter of Christy and Brannon Kidd - Having an artistic eye and beautiful way of expressing herself, no wonder Kaitlyn’s degree in speech and communication perfect. No matter where her paths lead, she’ll always have her Costa Rica memories and Get Busy Livin’s instincts.


Ilyanna Knopp
2018 graduate of Girard High School - daughter of Melody and Michael Knopp - Not only will the pediatric medicine field benefit with Ilyana, her passion and knowledge will touch countless others. “Wow I never knew searching for my dream would be this much fun!”


Taylor Redd
2018 graduate of Pittsburg High School- daughter of Julie and Mark Redd - Taylor’s positivity will “dance” her into the hearts of future students and people she’ll meet. No doubt she will lead by example as a teacher, mother, and woman.

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Matthew Sanders
2018 graduate of St. Mary’s Colgan High School – son of Ann and Robert Sanders – From his passion for music in the marching band to lending a hand to anyone in need, Matt is the man for the job. He will fascinate the business world and be a perfect Get Busy Livin’ steward.


Eric Underwood
2018 graduate of Southeast High School – son of Tara and Van Underwood Eric is a perfect example of GBL’s motto “keeping busy and loving every minute of it”. Along with K-State experience, John Deere or any farming/agriculture company will thrive with him behind the wheel.

Reese Willis
2018 graduate of Pittsburg High School – son of Kate and Matt See – He has already set his goals very high and gaining the strength he will need to be a trauma surgeon. We applaud his “always bleeding PHS purple” and strong contagious spirit.


Each year the GBL awards two scholarships to well deserving football athletes that not only excel on the field; but also provide team leadership and inspiration.

Photo Credit: Jay Soldner

Photo Credit: Jay Soldner

Kpreps Dylan Meier Get Busy Livin’ – Kansas Player of the Year – Carter Putz of Bishop Miege High School
For the seventh year the GBL Foundation along with Kpreps.com has selected the record-setting quarterback and leader from a large group of well deserving applicants from across Kansas.

This year’s winner is Carter Putz from Bishop Miege. He is the son of David and Jennifer Putz. As their quarterback Putz led Miege to its fourth straight state title and was also named the Kansas Gatorade Player of the Year for the second time. The elite combination of Carter’s on field performance and off the field leadership secured this year’s award.

“As soon as they told me, I was kind of speechless… reading about Dylan and all that he did,” Putz said. “Not only athletically but in life, it’s just a great honor to be recognized for an award like this, and I am going to try and live my life the way he did.”

Carter has elected to follow his path as a baseball infielder at Notre Dame University; where he has earned pre-season top freshman honors. Putz becomes the first Miege player to win the Get Busy Livin’ Award and joins a prestigious group of recipients that includes: Shawnee Mission North’s Will Schneider, Rossville’s Tucker Horak, Bishop Carroll’s Denzel Goolsby, Shawnee Mission West’s Austin Chambers, Lawrence’s Brad Strauss and Madison’s Kole Schankie.

GBL wishes the very best to Carter for his upcoming season and pursuing his life adventures.

Photo Credit: Derek Livingston

Photo Credit: Derek Livingston

Pittsburg High School Purple Dragon’s Senior Award – Chase Curtis
As more and more young athletes choose to excel in one sport… this all-star and 3 sport athlete (football, baseball, basketball) is the exception to the rule. Chase Curtis, the son of Chris and Jamie Curtis was the PHS Senior quarterback, captain and leader; and recently a Shrine Bowl participant for the East squad’s victory.

Apart from his athletic achievements Chase has been an active volunteer in the community and embodies the spirit of giving to all nearby. Chase continues his baseball career at Neosho Community College and reports that all is going well and he eagerly awaits the spring season.


For the past several years, the GBL Foundation has encouraged and sponsored local volunteer programs where our youth reach into their communities to make a difference. In 2018 the GBL Foundation gave out seven grants to SEK regional projects involving over 250 young people helping others:

  • The annual spring break Mission Trip to the Appalachian Mountains completed by over 50 high school students from St. Mary’s – Colgan assisted with home improvements and food/clothing distribution in these rural areas.

  • Plants for Pets was completed at the SEK Humane Society property. 20 kids and parents came out to garden and plant trees to provide shade for the pups and catnip for the kittens.

  • Crawford County 4-H Club held a cleanup and revitalization project in which our 100 youth volunteers and families worked hard to prepare the County Fairground for its annual fair.

  • You are Loved Community Cookout sponsored by the Galesburg Christian Church Youth Group was part of a worldwide event that consisted of 30 hours of fasting and community service. In Erie a fundraiser and cookout event at an elderly handicapped facility was held where approximately 29 high school volunteers mingled with the residents.

  • Over 15 Boy Scouts from Labette County worked for 5 days picking up trash and debris during the Annual County Fair.

  • In Chanute, the Cherry Street Youth Center group comprised of our 18 volunteer’s completed their warehouse service project by making lap blankets for residents at a local nursing home.

  • At the Southeast Kansas Special Olympics Track & Field Games held at Pittsburg State University, over 470 youth volunteers performed check-ins, assisted athletes and helped administer medals to all the game participants.

The GBL Foundation through their Sponsors and Friends are extremely proud to support these meaningful local youth volunteer programs.

High School Volunteers Abroad to Santa Cruz, Costa Rica

For the third year GBL has now sent 8 students abroad to experience the rewards of volunteer service. This year’s group Kaitlyn Kidd (PHS), Ilyanna Knopp (GHS) and Matt Sanders (SMC), traveled to Santa Cruz, Costa Rica to volunteer at an early youth development center. At the center they assisted the teachers by providing support, individual attention, and creative activities to empower the local children.

The volunteers stayed at the Guanacaste Home Base as provided by Cross Cultural Solutions (crossculturalsolutions.org) our volunteer abroad partner. When not volunteering they visited the local Pacific coastal beaches, zip lined in the rainforest and immersed into the “tica” culture.

Kaitlyn stated that she will now be adding a Spanish minor to her college major of speech pathology due to her trip to Costa Rica. “It was a life changing experience and I hope to go on more volunteer trips into the future.”

Matt Sanders reflected upon his experience in Costa Rica as the most eye opening trip of his life… so far. Matt stated “the only spanish I knew during the trip was explaining that I did not speak the language and saying thank you. But despite of this extreme lack of vocabulary… it was easy to communicate with the local children.”

The GBL is very proud to promote volunteerism abroad; and we hope to continue this program to get SEK youth on adventures of their own.


The GBL Club at PHS is now in its second year. The club’s purpose as a service organization is to exemplify the values of GBL, to live life to the fullest, provide service to others in the Pittsburg community; and inspire and build character in its members.

Sponsor Abbey Cummings reports that the group of over 55 students have set an aggressive service agenda for 2018/2019. They have designed T-shirts to wear at their events which have already included volunteering at the Lords Diner and raising funds for various PHS individuals or families that have fallen upon unexpected life situations.

They are truly making a difference at PHS and illustrate the spirit of giving and volunteerism. We are so grateful to the PHS Club and their mission to make a difference at their school!