Helen Galloway earns her Uncommon Citizen title

WICHITA — She could barely reach the podium – her head just peeked over the top – but First Place owner Helen Galloway was a commanding presence as she accepted the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce’s Uncommon Citizen award Tuesday night at the Beech Activity Center.

“And all that trash you saw tonight — half of it’s true,” she said after a video of her life and work was shown.

Between getting emotional herself – “I’ll only cry for 10 to 15 minutes,” Galloway said – and perhaps making a few in the audience cry as well, she was a laugh a minute for the rest of her acceptance speech.

“Oh, God!” a horrified Galloway declared when seeing herself on a live video. “Tonight I look 200 up there.”

Chamber chairman Walter Berry stood nearby to present Galloway her award, and she used him as her straight man as she chatted on.

“Walter, how much would you pay me to go home?”

Eventually she did exit the stage because, as she told the packed crowd, “You know more than I ever wanted you to know.”