Helen Mahurin is a gentle, gracious lady and an avid supporter of all things Irish in Kansas City especially the Irish Dancers and the Kansas City St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Helen Vardijan Mahurin was born the second oldest of 8 children to Croatian parents in Kansas City, Kansas. Following her graduation from college in 1945, Helen went to work for the Kansas City, Mo public library system. It was a career that would continue for 56 years until her retirement in 2001.
Following her marriage in 1962 to Irishman and Air Force pilot, Tom Mahurin, Helen got involved in the activities of the Irish community in Kansas City. Helen and Tom volunteered years of service to the Kansas City St. Patrick’s Day Parade. In 2001, they were given the honor of serving as Grand Marshals of the Parade.
In 1984, Helen hosted a St. Patrick’s Day concert and party for the community at the library where she worked. It was such a success it became an annual tradition in Kansas City. The O’Riada Irish dancers have been part of this event since the 1990s and it is one they look forward to each year. Today the event is held at the Grand Court retirement home.
Helen Mahurin’s adoption of the Kansas City Irish community was celebrated by her being named “Queen of the Kansas City Irish”, an honor she holds dear.
It is the privilege of the Kansas City Feis Committee to commemorate Helen’s love for Irish Dancing and her dedication and generosity to the dancers by establishing the Helen Mahurin Perpetual Trophy to be awarded to the winner of the Championship dance-off each year, starting in 2009.
2009 – Alicia Andersen, Clarkson School
2010 – Kaitlyn McAlexander, Clarkson School
2011 – Kaitlyn McAlexander, Clarkson School
2012 – Tyler Schwartz, Trinity Academy
2013 – Kirkland Mawae, Ryan School
2014 – Rebecca Herd, O’Maoileidigh
2015 – Ellie Gannon, The Clark Academy
2016 – Darby Sheldon, McClanahan School
2017 – Miranda Nolan, Clarkson School
2018 – Nate Sawchak, O’Riada Manning Academy