Pilsen?s Kapaun a finalist for ?Wonders?

Father Emil J. Kapaun, a priest and military chaplain from Pilsen who died in the Korean War, was named one of the 24 finalists in the Kansas Sampler Foundation?s ?8 Won?ders of Kansas People? contest.

The list was announced in Inman Sept. 8 by Marci Penner, the foundation?s co-founder and executive director.

The People contest, she said, is the last in a series organized by the foundation to educate Kansans and to inspire travel throughout the state.

?The list shows great diversity, from the gripping story of evolution at Haskell Indian Nations University, to the man Jack Kilby, who literally made the computer age possible.?

Father Kapaun was selected, Penner said, for his exemplary service and dedication while being held in a Korean prisoner of war camp in 1950-51. In addition, he is also being considered by the Vatican for sainthood.

How to vote

Winners will be selected by popular vote. Anyone may vote online three times from one e-mail address at 8wonders.org or vote once by paper ballot, Penner said.

Places that represent the finalists will have paper ballots or call 620-585-2374. Voting will end Oct. 22 at midnight.

The top 8 Wonders of Kansas People will be announced on Oct. 27. More information and lists of places where individuals can go to learn more about the people in the final contest can be found by visiting 8wonders.org.

About the contest

Some notable Kansas people are not on the list. Famous Kansans such as Dwight Eisen?hower, Gordon Parks, John Steaurt Curry and others are not on the list because they were involved in previous 8 Wonders contests, Penner said.

?Contest criteria also stated that there had to be some kind of display or something to see to make a nominee eligible. The selection committee chose not to go with any living nominees.?

Previous contests featured the Foundation?s eight rural culture elements: architecture, art, commerce, cuisine, customs, geography and history.

The the first contest started in June 2007.

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