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Matt Stafford Receives 2023 Distinguished Service Award at Lyons Annual Chamber Meeting


By Brenna Eller


LYONS, Kan. — Community members and business representatives of Lyons gathered at the Celebration Center for the Lyons Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting on Monday, Jan. 22. 

It was an exciting night for Ad Astra Radio, with Sales Executive in Lyons, Kristi Showalter being accepted as a new member of the Lyons Chamber Board and Ad Astra’s Sports Color Commentator Matt Stafford receiving the 2023 Distinguished Service Award. To be nominated for the award, the recipient had to be someone who has shown outstanding community service. 

Doug and Matt
Ad Astra Radio broadcasters for Lyons High School Doug Higgins (left) and Matt Stafford (right). (Photo by Brenna Eller)

Voice of the Lions, Doug Higgins had the pleasure of announcing Stafford as the recipient of the 2023 Distinguished Service Award recipient.

Stafford was born in Wichita and raised in Clearwater, Kan., where he graduated high school in 1986. After graduating, Stafford went to Wichita State University for a short period of time before entering into the workforce with his start at Sam’s Club. Through the company Stafford has lived in Colorado, Minnesota and Indiana over the years. According to Higgins, Stafford became a fan of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, being close to West Bend. However, Stafford still had a soft spot for the Kansas Jayhawks and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Returning home to Kansas, Stafford settled back in the Wichita area, and worked for Green Lantern and Westlake Hardware before accepting the position of manager of the new Pride Ag Resources Ace Hardware store in Lyons in 2015.

“From the moment that he moved to Lyons, he has been involved with many committees and organizations,” Higgins said.

Stafford is currently serving his second term as president of the Lyons Rotary Club, has recently volunteered to help the Kiwanis Club with their concessions at Boom Fest, is the current Vice President of the United Way, has served on the City of Lyons Planning Commission, is a former Lyons Chamber Board member, and is a Lyons Downtown Preservation committeeman.

Doug congratulates Matt at Annual Chamber Mtg
Doug Higgins congratulating Matt Stafford for being the recipient of the 2023 Distinguished Service Award. (Photo by Brenna Eller)

“Something close to his heart is his membership to King’s Cross Church, where he served as a former Young Life committee member,” Higgins said. “A hobby he loves is fishing! Anyone who is a Facebook friend with him has seen some of his catches and also some of the beautiful sunsets as viewed on the water.”

Another hobby Stafford has taken up is broadcasting/ doing color commentary and play-by-play for Lyons High School, Rice County schools, and other nearby schools’ sports, which Higgins stated, exemplifies Stafford’s support of the schools and community. 

Stafford has also done live broadcasts for the Lyons community as well, such as National Night Out (honoring law enforcement and EMT’s) and Boom Fest. 

“Just a few years ago, he was offered an opportunity to relocate for a promotion with Pride Ag,” Higgins shared. “He weighed that advancement versus the happiness he found with the people here in Lyons and he decided to stay here. Because of that choice, Lyons has come out the winner and we’re glad he is still here with us.”

When accepting the award, Stafford said he couldn’t believe it’s been eight years since he became manager of Pride Ag. 

Oscar winning radio and TV broadcaster, Andrew McCrea was the Guest Speaker Monday night and shared an inspirational message with the overall theme of “Why not?” McCrea has traveled across the nation meeting and interviewing people who have made differences in their towns and communities. 

Stafford echoed McCrea’s message, saying, “I just like to keep asking, ‘why not?"” 

Lastly, Stafford thanked his crew at Pride Ag as well as his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who he said has given him strength to do what he has done.

“I truly love Lyons. I love Rice County and consider this home,” Stafford said. “I’m just so proud to be here and proud to be a part of the community.”

Stafford and his wife Robin have been married since 1987 and have three grown children together: Trey, Blake and wife Ashlyn, Luzianne and her fiancé JJ.