Our Beginnings

In 1949, a group of ten men and women founded the BOTARs with the object to foster interest in the American Royal. The chosen "Belles of the American Royal" would participate in many activities, but mainly they would endeavor to stimulate knowledge of what the Royal means to the community and vicinity.

In 1959, the founders of BOTAR felt that as the young women had contributed ten years toward their initial purpose, the time had come for them to form their own organization. With the approval of the American Royal, the BOTAR Organization was established.

Today, BOTAR is a women’s leadership organization that supports the unique mission of the American Royal and its role in promoting the agribusiness economy in Kansas City and the region. BOTAR encourages civic involvement and develops leadership skills through intergenerational mentoring and volunteerism. It serves as a vital link between Kansas City’s rich history as a major U.S. livestock market and its bright future as a global agribusiness center. The not-for-profit organization of 1,200 active members has contributed more than a million dollars to the American Royal through the annual BOTAR Ball and Tablescapes.

In addition to providing financial support for American Royal scholarship and educational programs, BOTAR members’ efforts include conducting school tours during the annual livestock show, staffing the American Royal Museum, providing hospitality to American Royal student ambassadors and volunteering on one of BOTAR’s 79 committees.  BOTAR is unique in the way it connects young women beginning their post-college careers to their community, to their peers and to multiple generations of Kansas City women who encourage and are encouraged by one another throughout their lives. 

BOTAR Objects and Mission Statement

(Reprinted from the bylaws of the Belles of the American Royal Article II Section 1 and Section 2, page 159)

The object of this organization shall be to foster interest among its members in the social and civic activities pertaining to events sponsored by or conducted by the American Royal Association, Inc., and to make available their efficient volunteer services for American Royal activities. The policies of this organization shall be in harmony with the policies of the American Royal Association. This organization shall function as a division of the American Royal Association.

In grateful appreciation of their efforts to inspire a civic pride and responsibility in the minds of the young women of Greater Kansas City, we, the BOTAR Organization, salute the following women and men:

• Senator Harry Darby* 

• Mrs. Philip F. Rahm*

• Mr. Donald D. Davis*

• Mr. F. Forsha Russell*

• Mr. Dan Fennell, Sr.*

• Mrs. Carl Schutz*

• Mr. Lewis Kitchen*

• Miss Nell Snead*

• Mrs. Robert Phinney*

• Mrs. Oscar Straube*

* Deceased

John A. Dillingham

Joan Edwards (Mrs. Roy)*

Roy A. Edwards, Jr.*

Edith Marie Evans (Mrs. Ray R.)*

Ray R. Evans*

Margaret Harsh (Mrs. William P.)*

William P. Harsh*

Robert D. Hovey

Mary Hunkeler

R. Crosby Kemper, Jr.*

Paul S. McKie

Anthony Mendolia

Tom Tivol

Lucinda Stanley

Dwight D. Sutherland*

Katherine Hall Wagstaff (Mrs. Robert W.)*

Myron Wang

* Deceased

Presidents' Scholarship

Since 1949, the BOTAR (Belles of the American Royal) Organization has supported the American Royal Association by fostering community interest, providing volunteer services, raising funds and enabling growth and development. The Presidents' Scholarship is awarded to an applicant who best represents the spirit of volunteerism as determined by representatives of the BOTAR Organization. 

We are happy to announce that in 2012, we began a partnership with the AFA, (Agriculture Future of America) to better facilitate this scholarship.  

The 2019 scholarship application process is quickly underway, and the AFA is again assisting by encouraging their members to apply.  Please click the below link to learn more information:

www.agfuture.org/scholarships

1959    Mrs. Lyman Field

1960    Mrs. J. Lyle Wells, Jr.

1961    Mrs. J. Lyle Wells, Jr.

1962    Mrs. Marilyn Hudson Jurden

1963    Mrs. Marilyn Hudson Jurden

1964    Mrs. John R. Fifield

1965    Mrs. John R. Fifield

1966    Mrs. Kenneth Fligg, Jr.

1967    Mrs. Oscar Max Straube III

1968    Mrs. Lawrence M. Lansburgh

1969    Mrs. Wade J. Freeman, Sr.

1970    Mrs. Gerald Lee Dickey

1971    Mrs. Karen V.V. Turner

1972    Mrs. Robert M. Kissick, Sr.

1973    Mrs. John A. Dillingham

1974    Mrs. Stephen S. Kirk

1975    Mrs. George E. Leonard

1976    Mrs. Francis S. Franke

1977    Mrs. Susan B. Moeller

1978    Mrs. Porter T. Hall, III

1979    Mrs. Julie Richardson

1980    Mrs. Eric R. Johnson

1981    Mrs. Barbara S. Ross

1982    Mrs. David B. Launder

1983    Mrs. David J. Fromm

1984    Mrs. J. Philip Coulson

1985    Mrs. Forrest L. Langdon

1986    Mrs. Ira William McKee

1987    Mrs. Roger T. Rowan

1988    Mrs. Thomas B. Hall, III

1989    Ms. Betty Ann Cortelyou

1990    Mrs. Bruce Alan Reed

1991    Mrs. Charles Hodge

1992    Mrs. Richard T. Hughey

1993    Mrs. Thomas E. Thornhill

1994    Mrs. Kent E. Mueller

1995    Ms. Sharon Fate

1996    Mrs. William Terrence Kilroy

1997    Miss Cynthia R. Cowherd

1998    Mrs. Scott H. Ward

1999    A. Marie McMorris

2000    Mrs. Nicholas K. Powell

2001    Mrs. John E. Larson

2002    Mrs. Norbert Russ

2003    Mrs. Kent V. Stallard

2004    Mrs. William J. Duensing, Jr.

2005    Mrs. Robert L. Smart, Jr.

2006    Mrs. John W. Longan

2007    Mrs. Stephen S. Soden

2008    Mrs. Michael Merriman

2009    Mrs. Leonard W. Jurden

2010    Cynthia Pistilli Savage

2011    Mrs. Kevin L. Fryer

2012    Mrs. Robert M. Kissick, Jr.

2013    Mrs. Scott M. Mann

2014    Jenny Turner Tuttle

2015    Mrs. Mark R. Frame

2016    Mrs. William P. Love

2017    Mrs. Charles M. Tetrick

2018    Mrs. J. Scott Robertson

2019    Mrs. Scott A. Burditt

President

Mandy McKee Burditt

V.P. BOTAR

Amy Ball Polen

V.P. Ball

Christy Mehrer Schoenfeld

V.P. Membership & Public Relations

Alden Haugh

V.P. American Royal

Addie Scott Perry

Recording Secretary

Caroline Sweeney

Corresponding Secretary

Sarah Luby Tate

Treasurer

Lee Fryer Sitomer

Board Members

Jamie Berg 

Leslie Blair 

Amanda Drinkhouse 

Becky Herring       

Mary Hodge           

Stephanie Jones

Liz Maday              

Kathie Manda 

Kim Manka Mann 

Cynthia Savage     

Christy Staker 

Marya Stallard 

Women's Advisory Members

Jenny Turner Tuttle                                                        

Julie Fromm

Kristen McGannon

Kristin Patterson    

Mary Ann Powell

Page Reed                        

Tracy Tetrick 

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