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09-12-2012:  For Immediate Release:
The newly created Kansas Celebrity Hall of Fame (KCHF) will open September 29th at 212 N. Penn Ave. The KCHF will collocate in the former JC Penney building with Neewollah Headquarters and will be open daily during Neewollah season. Hours will be coincide with Neewollah Headquarters and can be seen at www.Neewollah.com.

The goal of KCHF is to feature famous people from all over Kansas that have made positive contributions in the field of entertainment. The initial focus will be to feature celebrities from Southeast Kansas such as Bill Kurtis, William Inge, Vivian Vance, Donald Graham Burt and Jim Halsey.

The featured exhibit during the month of October and during Neewollah will be "The Jim Halsey Company Archives”. The Impresario and Independence native son, Jim Halsey has been in the music business for over 60 years and represented such major artists, as Reba McEntire, Glen Campbell, Merle Haggard, James Brown, Roy Orbison, Clint Black, Roy Clark, and many others. Today, he continues is 36 year management career of the legendary Oak Ridge Boys. The exhibit will feature artifacts from his career. Jim was born in Independence Kansas into one of Independence's oldest families. He was one of the four men who restarted Neewollah, Kansas Largest Annual Celebration in 1958. Jim promoted his first act at Independence Memorial Hall in 1949. In 2013 KCHF will feature the Jim Halsey "Starmaker" exhibit and later the "Hee Haw" Exhibit. "Hee Haw”, starring many of Jim Halsey's performers was and is one of the most watched shows in TV history.

The Kansas Celebrity Hall of Fame was formed as a result of a taskforce that began meeting on May 9. Members of the taskforce included leaders of most of the organizations in the Independence community. Realizing that the Independence and southeast Kansas area has fostered not only Jim Halsey, but also Vivian Vance, William Inge, Bill Kurtis and a host of others, the group saw a potential new tourism opportunity to combine with the other tourism assets in the area to make Independence a major tourist destination.

The board of directors of the Independence Historical Museum and Art Center, founded in 1882 as the Ladies Library Association, has taken the new Hall of Fame organization under it's wing. Donations to the Hall of Fame, made through the Museum are tax deductible due to the 501c3 exemption status of the Museum. The museum also operates the Landon Center and the Historical Research Center.

The Kansas Celebrity Hall of Fame taskforce is actively seeking donations of time and money. Those interested in helping prepare for the September 29 opening may call Mike Flood at 620-330-0675

Independence, Kansas