On a Tuesday night in November, in a sleepy town 60 miles away with a population of 850, a tedious hearing on the construction of a new power plant took place. It's a rare person who can make such boring meetings seem worth the effort, and Wick Thomas is one of them. Thomas was thrown into the activist fire at Paola High School, where he started a chapter of the Gay Straight Alliance. That GSA became one of the largest in the region and even started a recycling program, but Thomas was targeted for his efforts — some kids made a rap song about how they were going to kill him. Five years later, Thomas is inspiring others throughout the city. A tireless cycling advocate, he doesn't just dress up for fun events such as the monthly Critical Mass ride — he shows up for hearings at City Hall, too. He's one of the founding members of TWIG (Think, Work, Inspire, Grow), a youth-oriented environmental group that has organized global-warming-awareness rallies and carpools to those boring but important public hearings about power plants. He convinced a landowner at Linwood and Troost to let TWIG use the plot for a community garden and created a biweekly bike-in movie theater. Most important, Thomas' lighthearted but sincere demeanor makes an hourlong drive to a mind-numbing meeting sound like a good time.