John Fund Keynotes Awards Dinner in Wichita

October 2017

The Bastiat Society of Wichita recently teamed up with the Kansas Policy Institute to host John Fund of National Review. This event also marked the 5th Annual John J. Ingalls Award Dinner, where the Spirit of Freedom Award is given to a Kansan who uniquely supports the principles of individual liberty and economic freedom.

This year's award went to Harley & Vi Heskett. Not only have they been valuable members of the Liberty movement in Kansas, the Hesketts work tirelessly to make connections with others and bring local organizations together.

The award is named in honor of United States Senator John J. Ingalls (1833 – 1900). Ingalls represented Kansas in the U.S. Senate from 1873 – 1891 and served as the President pro tempore of the Senate between the 49th and 51st Congresses. One of Kansas’ founding fathers, he coined the phrase that would become Kansas’ motto Ad astra per aspera (To the Stars with Difficulty) and helped draft the state's constitution.

A native of Massachusetts and a free-stater, Ingalls migrated to Kansas in 1858 to practice law. He was a strong believer in the principles held at both the state’s and the nation’s founding – limited government and free enterprise. In fact, Ingalls referred to his ideology as such:

"I belong to the school of politicians who think that government should interfere as little as possible in the affairs of its citizens. I have no sympathy with the paternal idea, but believe that the best results are attained when people are left to settle the great questions of society by individual effort. All that legislation can do is to give men an equal chance in the race of life."

Fittingly, John Fund’s keynote remarks provided keen insights into the political culture in which we swim, and reminding us of the importance of our conservative, free market values.

John J. Ingalls Spirit of Freedom Award Recipients 
  • 2012 - Captain John D’Aloia, Jr.
  • 2013 - John Todd
  • 2013 - Bob Weeks
  • 2014 - Kristin George and Megan King
  • 2015 - Pastor Wade Moore
  • 2016 - George Pearson
  • 2017 - Harley & Vi Heskett


Click Here to watch John Fund discuss elections and their security with Bob Weeks and Carl Peterjohn on Wichita Liberty TV.


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