Who on Earth takes on a job that offers no pay, no benefits, will take time away from business and friends, and guarantees making a few enemies?
A person who asks for no thanks, but who deserves a big round of applause from the community, that’s who.
Joplin’s Jane Cage got that applause Thursday night when she was named the Outstanding Citizen of the Year during the annual banquet of the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce.
Cage took on the role of leader of the Citizens Advisory Recovery Team in its creation of a tornado recovery plan for the city of Joplin.
Cage, a longtime Joplin businesswoman, put business and personal life on hold to attend countless meetings in efforts to make sure the community was involved in the reshaping of Joplin.
More parks? More sidewalks? More green space? These were just a few of the questions Cage and a group of committed leaders asked for months before making their recommendations to the Joplin City Council.
Cage’s work has largely been done behind the scenes. We think her involvement in the community — as chairwoman of the Rotary Club of Joplin, the Joplin Humane Society, the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce and as former chairwoman of the board at St. John’s Regional Medical Center — prepared her to lead the citizens advisory group.
Head down, sleeves rolled up and pen to paper, Cage made Joplin’s recovery her mission.
The work’s not over for Cage or for Joplin — not even close.
That’s why it’s important to stop and say thanks, then ask Cage to stay the course.
The pay, the hours and the benefits won’t get any better — but Joplin will.