Westbrook Retires After 28 Years with BHCS

October 12, 2004

Sidonia Westbrook wanted to make a difference – for her family, for her neighborhood and for her community. She lived in the 62nd & Wabash block of the Blue Hills neighborhood for 32 years until the city purchased her property and she relocated in 2003. “I wanted to be a part of the neighborhood; if there was a job to do, then I just did it”, Westbrook says about supporting the community. Westbrook was enthusiastic when recruited by Blue Hills Community Services Founder Father Norman Rotert to be a board director in 1976. “I was interested in what goes on in the neighborhood and wanted to be knowledgeable and participate in the upswings and be prepared for the downswings”. She remembers fondly of the Saturdays spent in parades and rallies, trying to get home owners to clean up their properties and the streets in the neighborhood. “I remember so well when we had to sell a house to buy a house”, she recalls. Now, Blue Hills Community Services is a leading community development corporation dedicated to improving the quality of education, creating safer neighborhoods, building more affordable housing and bringing about positive change in communities.

Sidonia Westbrook retired from the Blue Hills Community Services Board of Directors in September 2004; twenty-eight years after joining. Service on the board came with sacrifices, she had a family and was working, but she remembers making nearly every meeting, including one in a flood. For nearly three decades, she has championed programs that promote economic and community development; promoted affordable urban living and quality education services to private, nonpublic schools; and worked to advance the interest of this community.

“Through the decades, we have learned much from her diplomacy, passion and vision and will always treasure her contribution to the community of Kansas City” says Joanne Bussinger, Acting Executive Director of Blue Hills Community Services. “We mark the end of her long service on the board with respect, admiration and gratitude.”

In celebration of her service and commitment to Kansas City, contributions may be made in her name to the Father Norman Rotert Endowment Fund in care of Blue Hills Community Services, 301 E. Armour Boulevard, Suite 650, Kansas City, MO 64111.