For David Peebler, covering Derby through his work as a videographer is all part of being an active citizen.
“I just like to participate in the community,” said Peebler, who has lived here with his family for 44 years.
His efforts, along with two photographers, Bill Fales and Barney Tull, are being highlighted by the city as they have received the 2019 Mayor’s Award of Excellence.
They will be formally honored at the Nov. 26 City Council meeting.
The award was established in 2002 as a way to honor an individual, family, organization, or business that has contributed significantly to the Derby community.
Officials say the award is for sustained and devoted service to Derby and local groups.
Mayor Randy White said the trio deserve their accolades.
“Not only are these three top-notch artists in their photography and videography, they have generously given their time and talents to show the world how good Derby looks,” White said.
While the three don’t work together as an organized team, they will often run into each other at popular events, such as the Barbecue Festival. The total sum of their efforts combine to provide a rich visual tapestry of the city, officials say.
“Seeing Derby through their lenses is how many people see Derby,” he said.
For his part, Peebler said he was surprised, but grateful and happy when contacted by White about his part in receiving the award.
Peebler is probably best known for his legacy work of filming three decades of DHS Panther football games.
Photographers busy at community events
A retired account representative, he said he fell into working the games “by accident” but has stuck with them, going through four or five video cameras in the process.
He also had his work used nationally when CNN used some of his Derby footage in its Today in America program.
“That was kind of fun,” he said.
Peebler has also been involved in the other efforts, serving on Derby’s Park and Urban Forestry Board as well as the Wichita Area Sexual Assault Center Board of Directors.
Tull is present at almost all major Derby events and community gatherings, busy snapping away with his cameras.
He has been an active volunteer in photographing community events for the Derby Recreation Commission, Derby Public Library and city.
Tull routinely displays photographs of Derby people and places at Derby City Hall.
He also created an exhibit focusing solely on McConnell Air Force Base, including the aircraft and the people who work on them.
In addition, he helped start and runs the Derby Photography Club, which meets at the library and is open to anyone interested in photography no matter what their skill level.
Like Tull, Fales routinely volunteers by photographing community events.
He displays photographs of Derby landscapes and scenic views at the Derby Welcome Center.
One of his photos, which featured a sunrise at Derby’s High Park, was featured on the state website, Kansas.gov.
In addition, Fales’ photo of the city’s 2018 Tree Lighting was selected to represent Kansas as “The Most Iconic Christmas Tree in Every State” by Country Living magazine.