Hunter Advocacy Award

This award is reserved for an individual who have shown outstanding devotion in supporting Family Child Care Providers in Kansas and whose leadership has promoted quality standards in the field. It is given annually at our professional event in April.

The Hunter Advocacy Award was established in 1998 in recognition of the critical role Kharon Hunter played in the formation of the state organization for family child care providers and her continued advocacy efforts. Kharon was well known throughout the State as a dedicated trainer and advocate, and an ever-present source of knowledge and information to all who knew her.


Kharon lost her battle with breast cancer after a 14 year struggle and passed away in December 2000. However, she left behind a legacy including many family child care providers who were proud to call her a mentor and friend.

This award serves as a continuing tribute to her life and untiring efforts on behalf of children, families and the profession of family child care.


2021 Hunter Award Recipient

CCPC is honored to name Mary Baskett of Lawrence as the Hunter Advocacy Award recipient for 2021.  Mary Baskett has been a passionate advocate for young children and families throughout her career.  From developing the statewide Maternal Child Health Plan in the state of Missouri in the 1970's to her role as Executive Director of the Kansas Head Start Association from 1999 to 2011, Mary has worked to elevate the voices and address the needs of our youngest children and those who care for them.  She has led legislative advocacy efforts at the state and national level for Head Start in collaboration with colleagues representing child care providers.  She has advocated to improve quality, support providers and increase funding for early care and education.  During her tenure with the Association, Mary worked successfully to protect funding for Kansas Early Head Start and its child care partners, as well as to bring in grant resources to create nationally recognized programs in oral health and health literacy.

Since retiring from the Association, Mary has been active in promoting the development of trauma-informed services for the early childhood community.  She cofounded the Douglas County Early Childhood Collaborative and serves on the board of Community Children's Center in Lawrence.  Mary also works with KU's Center for Public Partnerships and Research on a statewide project to improve and strengthen the early childhood system.  As part of this effort, she facilitates the Child Care System Improvement Team and provides technical assistance to child care providers applying for and receiving quality subgrants. 


Mary's passion for young children and their caregivers has been a significant theme throughout her career.  She feels very fortunate to have found such rewarding work and to contribute to the healthy development of children, families and those that support them.

Past Hunter Award Recipients

1998     Kharon Hunter

1998     Leadell Ediger

1999     Bill Anderson

2000    Becky Woerz

2001     Reva Wywadis

2004    Laurie Pigg

2005    Carolyn Weinhold

2006    Jane Wieler

2008    Janet Newton

2012      Beth Reeder

2013      Audra Kennison

2014      Mary Murphy

2015      Maureen Kitzi

2016      Carlos Gomez

2017      Bev Long

2018      Rachel Sisson

2019     Dawn Brown

2020    Caroline Teter

2021      Mary Baskett

Do you know someone that deserves this award?
Hunter Award Nomination Form