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Aug. 30, 2012
TOPEKA The Tobacco Free Kansas Coalition will host a retirement reception for its executive director, Mary Jayne Hellebust, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Oct. 3 in the Pioneer Room of the Capital Plaza Hotel, 1717 SW Topeka Boulevard.
“(Hellebust) has been a driving force in trying to achieve smoke-free policies across the state of Kansas,” said Ken Davis, president of the coalition’s board of directors. “She’s done an incredible job.”
Hellebust has been the coalition’s executive director since its founding in 1995.
The group’s initial partners included the Kansas Heart Association, Kansas Lung Association, American Cancer Society, Kansas Health Foundation, and Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
Coalition members have successfully lobbied for restricting children’s access to tobacco products, raising the state tax on cigarettes and the 2010 passaged of a statewide indoor public smoking ban.
Hellebust said her retirement plans include volunteering and helping her husband, Lynn, publish the Kansas Legislative Handbook and the national State Legislative Sourcebook. Both are published annually.
Hellbust’s last day as executive director is set for Oct. 15. She will be succeeded by Linda DeCoursey, the coalition’s program manager.