By Michael Buhler
Jeff Piper has made many contributions to life in Goddard over the years. However, he was surprised when his former scoutmaster, Dan Funke, called him and informed him he had been chosen as the recipient of the Charles Means Community Service Award and Grand Marshal of the Goddard Fall Festival.
“Quite honestly, I was surprised and very humbled when I got the call from Dan Funke,” Piper said. “I was speechless at first. He asked what I was doing on Oct. 5 and told me the Lions Club selected me as Grand Marshal of the parade.
“I think there are others who are more deserving than me, but I am honored and humbled that they chose me for my service to the community. It’s an honor I would have never expected.”
However, Funke believes that Piper has earned the honor.
“He was very deserving,” Funke said. “He’s worked with many youth in our community. He was with the original Boy Scout troop here in 1979 then went into the cadet program. He was very instrumental in many community assets, too.”
Piper has made a name for his service to Goddard. He has more than a decade of involvement with Boy Scout Troop 776 in Goddard and now is on the troop committee and also has served as Cubmaster for Pack 775. During Piper’s time with Troop 776, the Scouts have worked with the Goddard Lions Club with several joint activities, including the annual holiday Operation Mitten Tree.
In addition, Piper is a former Goddard police officer and has more than a decade of experience with the Sedgwick County sheriff’s department as a webmaster and police officer. He currently is a detective with the Maize police department, but maintains close ties to the Goddard community, and his children attended Goddard schools.
“I still have a lot of ties with the Goddard community, and I still think very highly of the town and its people,” Piper said.
Funke has more words of praise for his former protege.
“Jeff has been a very hard worker in the community and the Boy Scout troop,” Funke said. “He ran a top-notch Boy Scout troop and did a great job with that. He has been instrumental in making the Scouts a major part of Operation Mitten Tree.”