Jim Ogle presents Topeka Rotary flag to Lawrence Central Rotary.

Jim Ogle presents the Topeka Rotary flag to Lawrence Central Rotary.

History may often be “written by the victors,” said Jim Ogle, Executive Director of Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area, but by adding in and telling the stories of  other voices, “we can come to terms with the impact it’s having on us now.”

That is the mission of Freedom’s Frontier, to help the regional community never forget the history that shaped us and this country.

Freedom’s Frontier covers and area of 29 counties in eastern Kansas and 12 counties in western Missouri. While not a National Park, the organization is affiliated with the National Park system and provides financial assistance and technical support to its 240 partners, including 150 historic sites and museum,. Freedom’s Frontier boasts 23 partner organizations in Douglas County alone.

This type of “collective wisdom,” as Ogle says, helps everyone tell better stories. Since many of Freedom’s Frontier’s partners have no professional staff, the organization is able to offer:

  • professional development opportunities
  • workshops, such as designing exhibits
  • scholarship opportunities
  • marketing and signage support
  • grant writing assistance

To date, Freedom’s Frontier has provided nearly $119,000 in grant funding benefiting Douglas County efforts.

Ogle is proud of more than his work at Freedom’s Frontier. As a long-time Rotarian, first joining in 1994 while living in Lexington, KY, he’s especially proud of the global impact Rotary has had on polio eradication. And here in Lawrence? He knows it’s the “15 or 20 minutes we spent at lunch making connections that make a difference.”