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Our Beginnings

In 1949, a group of ten men and women founded the BOTARs with the object to foster interest in the American Royal. The chosen "Belles of the American Royal" would participate in many activities, but mainly they would endeavor to stimulate knowledge of what the Royal means to the community and vicinity.

In 1959, the founders of BOTAR felt that as the young women had contributed ten years toward their initial purpose, the time had come for them to form their own organization. With the approval of the American Royal, the BOTAR Organization was established.

Today, BOTAR is a women’s leadership organization that supports the unique mission of the American Royal and its role in promoting the agribusiness economy in Kansas City and the region. BOTAR encourages civic involvement and develops leadership skills through intergenerational mentoring and volunteerism. It serves as a vital link between Kansas City’s rich history as a major U.S. livestock market and its bright future as a global agribusiness center. The not-for-profit organization of 1,200 active members has contributed more than a million dollars to the American Royal through the annual BOTAR Ball and Tablescapes.

In addition to providing financial support for American Royal scholarship and educational programs, BOTAR members’ efforts include conducting school tours during the annual livestock show, staffing the American Royal Museum, providing hospitality to American Royal student ambassadors and volunteering on one of BOTAR’s 79 committees.  BOTAR is unique in the way it connects young women beginning their post-college careers to their community, to their peers and to multiple generations of Kansas City women who encourage and are encouraged by one another throughout their lives. 

BOTAR Founders
In grateful appreciation of their efforts to inspire a civic pride and responsibility in the minds of the young women of Greater Kansas City, we, the BOTAR Organization, salute the following women and men:

  • Senator Harry Darby* 
  • Mrs. Philip F. Rahm*
  • Mr. Donald D. Davis*
  • Mr. F. Forsha Russell*
  • Mr. Dan Fennell, Sr.*
  • Mrs. Carl Schutz*
  • Mr. Lewis Kitchen*
  • Miss Nell Snead*
  • Mrs. Robert Phinney*
  • Mrs. Oscar Straube*
  • ( * Deceased )

BOTAR Objects and Policies
(Reprinted from the bylaws of the Belles of the American Royal Article II Section 1 and Section 2, page 159)

The object of this organization shall be to foster interest among its members in the social and civic activities pertaining to events sponsored by or conducted by the American Royal Association, Inc., and to make available their efficient volunteer services for American Royal activities. The policies of this organization shall be in harmony with the policies of the American Royal Association. This Organization shall function as a division of the American Royal Association.