Buck O'Neil had an enormous impact on the world of baseball and the lives of the everyday people he touched. Buck spent many days and nights supporting the Royals from the same seat behind home plate at Kauffman Stadium, both as a scout and a fan. To honor Buck, the Buck O'Neil Legacy Seat program fills "Buck's Seat" for every home game with a member of the community who, on a large or small scale, embodies an aspect of Buck's spirit.
Monday, April 8 – Dr. Charles Wheeler
Dr. Charles Wheeler is a Kansas City native who has had years of public service including two terms as the Mayor of Kansas City, Missouri, from 1971 to 1979. During his tenure at City Hall, Kansas City saw several advances including the completion of the Truman Sports Complex, construction of Kansas City International Airport and Bartle Hall among others. His iconic status in Kansas City was officially honored by the naming of the Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport.
Earlier today, Dr. Wheeler joined Royals Hall of Famer John Mayberry to co-chair the 26th Annual Greater Kansas City Day to support Rotary Club Youth Camp as well as other area children's charities. He is joined today by his son, Graham, fellow Jackson County Judge Alex Petrovic and his son, Alex Junior, and family friend Steve Sturdivant.
Tuesday, April 9 – John Culp
John Culp, and his late wife, Sandy, lost a daughter due to an eating disorder and, as a result, have worked hard to keep the issue in front of legislature and the public. A Warrensburg native, John has shared his story with the Missouri government and with students and families.
John is praised for his self-sacrificing ways and positive attitude and has had an impact on everyone he's met.
Wednesday, April 10 – Marcia Merrick
For over 40 years, Marcia Merrick has been waking up at 4 am to make at least 400 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for needy people in various parts of Kansas City. Each morning and afternoon, she drives to eleven areas of Kansas City and delivers the sandwiches to those who are hungry.
Along with the sandwiches, Marcia hands out other items such as deodorant, toothpaste, and medical supplies to people who may need them.
Friday, April 12 – Terry Benson
Terry Benson's daughter, Lyric, was murdered in New York City in April of 2003, but her organ donation saved five lives. To honor his daughter, Terry started Lyric for Life, a foundation to help organ donors, recipients and their families.
The foundation also grants scholarships to area high school seniors who are interested in studying theater - the same major Lyric studied.
Saturday, April 13 – Rick Bennett
Rick Bennett and his wife, Kathy, became advocates of Autism Speaks after their son, Ryan, was diagnosed with autism. For 5 years, the Bennetts have participated in Kansas City Walk Now for Austism Speaks and have personally raised nearly $20,000 through their own walk team.
The Bennetts join the game as part of Major League Baseball Autism Awareness, an effort by all 30 teams to support families affected by autism and autism spectrum disorder.
Sunday, April 14 – Jake Keary
This year, Jake Keary was the first boy scout to be named an Eagle Scout in the Heart of America Council. In 2003, Jake started as a Tiger Cub with Pack 3055 in Lawrence, Kansas and bridged to Troop 60 in 2008 where he began his career as a boyscout and held many leadership positions.
For Jake's Eagle Scout Project, he constructed a memorial bench and provided landscaping for the Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center.
Friday, April 26 – Karen Hardcastle
A lover of classical music, Karen Hardcastle, has served as president of multiple charities supporting the Kansas City Symphony. For 20 years, Karen has worked tirelessly on programs that introduce children to classical music and has helped raise nearly $2 million.
This year, Karen is coordinating a conference hosting all North American major symphony charities and will introduce them to the Kauffman Center of Performing Arts.
Saturday, April 27 – Steve Curtis
Passionate about helping at-risk youth, Steve Curtis has worked diligently to make the urban core of Kansas City, Kansas a better place for everyone. Steve's efforts have resulted in the creation of artistic murals to cover graffiti, community gardens, and a new youth arts studio in the heart of the urban core.
The new center, co-founded by Steve, serves economically at-risk and disabled youth.
Sunday, April 28 – Shawnie Nix
As a member of the Police Athletic League of the Kansas City Police Department, Officer Shawnie Nix volunteers her time to help underprivileged youth in Kansas City. By coaching boxing, Shawnie has worked with young girls on their skills and confidence both in and outside of the ring and encourages them to be active, no matter the sport.
Through the PAL, Shawnie has become a constant figure and role model in many young girls' lives.
Monday, April 29 – Butch Bowen
Currently the President of the Local Retirees Council for Laborers Local 264, Butch Bowen spends a lot of his time with retired people, visiting and assisting them with anything they may need. To help them, Butch has spent time building wheelchair ramps and has even traveled to Jefferson City to lobby on behalf of retirees and their rights.
Before taking over the Retirees Council, Butch, who is also a Cub Scout volunteer, spent many years with Laborers Local 264 serving as President and Vice President.
Tuesday, April 30 – Joey Butler
Though recently diagnosed with terminal cancer, Pastor Joey Butler has still found ways to pour life into those around him and help them with their needs. A mentor for young people and positive influence for others, he teaches and models leadership, character, and perseverance.
Known for his humor and love of baseball, the Blue Springs, Missouri native believes baseball is God's Favorite Sport.
Wednesday, May 1 – Laura Galler
In honor of her grandfather who passed away in 2000 from non-Hodgkins lymphona, Laura Galler started fundraising with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society back in 2011. After joining the LLS Team in Training, Laura fundraised and ran for the Nike Women's Marathon and the Walt Disney World Marathon.
Last year, Laura held a fundraising campaign for LLS Man and Woman of the Year, which takes all of the money and distributes it locally to support patients, their families, and research.
Thursday, May 2 – Cynthia Smith
From 1979 to 1992, Cynthia Smith brought you the news each night with co-anchor Phil Witt on WDAF. Though she reported on Presidential Campaigns and the war in El Salvador, Cynthia is probably best known for her adoption series Thursday's Child and the founding of Fox 4 Love Fund for Children. Cynthia went on to become the President of Wayside Waifs and President and CEO of Sunflower House, which serves abused children.
Saturday, May 4 – Mike Frechin
After retiring in 2008 as an operating engineer for Holiday Sand and Gravel, Mike Frechin began volunteering at St. James Place, which is operated by the Bishop Sullivan Center. A few days very week, Mike volunteers in the food pantry and washes dishes on Thursday nights in the Community Kitchen. Throughout the year, Mike also helps with fundraising efforts for the nonprofit including Billy Butler's Hit-It-A-Ton program.
Hit-It-A-Ton supports the Bishop Sullivan Center by supplying a ton of food for every homerun that Billy hits, and a half ton for each double.
Sunday, May 5 – Joe Mendoza
After moving to the Greater Kansas City area in 2009, Joe started the Retail Lending Division at Arvest Bank. Due to his upbringing, Joe has always been involved in helping the Hispanic community and does so by serving on the Board of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Board of the Arts Council of Johnson County, while also acting as the Treasurer of the Guadalupe Center Board.
After 13 years of banking, Joe brings a wealth of knowledge to the organizations of which he serves.
Friday, May 10 – Pam Erickson (Operation Blessing)
An advocate for helping people around the world, Pam Erickson started with Operation Blessing International nearly 18 years ago. When she first arrived, Pam developed the first gifts-in-kind program which acquires and distributes donated food and supplies for both domestic and international relief efforts and has since received and donated more than one billion pounds of product.
For the past 11 years, Pam and her team at Operation Blessing have partnered with the Kansas City Royals and Chiefs for the annual event, "Two Teams One Goal." Each year, they distribute food and supplies to nearly 3,000 people in the Kansas City area.
Saturday, May 11 – Adrian Trotter (KU Med)
Nearly two years ago, Adrian Trotter, 19-year-old former high school track star was diagnosed with lymphoma and began chemotherapy treatment. Then one year ago, doctors at The University of Kansas Cancer Center were able to find a donor match for Adrian and perform a successful blood stem cell transplant. Today, Adrian is in complete remission and plans to pursue his lifelong dream of becoming a police officer.
Sitting with Adrian is Dr. Sunil (sue-NEEL) Abhyankar (ah-bee-YANG-kar), one of the expert physicians of The University of Kansas Cancer Center.
Sunday, May 12 – Connie Smith (Susan G. Komen)
In December of 2011, Connie Smith was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer. With the support of her husband, Mike, and their two children, Connie began treatment and the family became active in Susan G. Komen Kansas City. They started a Race for the Cure Team and raised nearly $5000. Connie's last chemotherapy treatment was just two months ago and she is thrilled to be able to be sitting in Buck's seat today.
Thursday, May 23 – Ellen Bell
The epitome of resilient, Ellen Bell was physically and emotionally abused as a child, but did not let that hold her back. The first girl in her family to go to college, Ellen got a degree in psychology and taught for 37 years. While teaching, she encouraged her students to participate in sports and theatre and supported them by attending games and plays.
After a car accident in 2008, Ellen had to relearn how to walk, talk and eat. Always a fighter, Ellen never gave up and is now spending plenty of time with her family and encouraging her grandchildren to be active in physical activities.
Saturday, May 24 – Ellen Suni
Since moving to Kansas City in 1980, Ellen Suni has been a tireless advocate for education, equality, and justice in the community. A supporter of the Kansas City Youth Court, Ellen co-founded the Midwest Innocence Project, a program that provides free legal assistance to the wrongfully convicted.
As a legal educator, Ellen has been recognized by many for her unending commitment to her students and expanding access to education regardless of race, class, or gender.
Saturday, May 25 – Dick Sipe
A minister for 33 years, Pastor Dick Sipe is currently the Senior Pastor at the First Baptist Church in Marshalltown, Iowa where he is actively involved in the community. Dick, who will retire in July, participates in Habitat for Humanity, Awana Children's Ministry, and many school related programs.
Additionally to the philanthropic work in his own community, he developed and implemented the Honduras Orphanage in Azacualpa, Honduras.
Sunday, May 26 – Fred & Joan Schwartz
Volunteers for Wayside Waifs since 2007, Fred and Joan Schwartz have devoted their free time to caring for and helping thousands of homeless, abandoned, or abused dogs. Spending countless hours providing exercise and enrichment to the dogs, Fred and Joan get to know the personalities and traits of each animal to help match them to a potential adopter.
Along with working with the dogs, Fred and Joan also reach out to the community by representing the Wayside Waifs Humane Education Program and taking adoptable dogs to local news stations to help them find homes.
Monday, May 27 – Pat Quinn
A Vietnam veteran, Pat Quinn served as an aviation ordinanceman for the Navy, photographing ships spotted on their plane's radar. In 2010, Pat started the Celtic Thunder Ride, a motorcycle riding fundraiser where riders place wreathes at veterans' cemeteries, while raising money for the Wounded Warrior Project.
During its three-year existence, the event has raised over $20,000 for Wounded Warrior participants. On this Memorial Day, the Royals remember all the men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
Tuesday, May 28 – Amali Reilly
A nurse with Teva for the past 6 years, Amali Reilly has worked with patients living with multiple sclerosis as part of their "Shared Solutions" patient support team. Recognized among her peers for her experience and commitment to people living with MS, Amali is a mentor and speaker, providing information on various medicines and services to patients, nurses, and physicians.
Her commitment to making a difference extends outside of the office through participation in many MS fundraisers and other health-related causes.
Tuesday, June 4 – Annette Shelton
14 years ago, Annette Shelton's father, Larry, lost a kidney to cancer and 7 years later had the other partially removed. After a year on dialysis, Larry was added to the transplant list and found that Annette was a 100% match. Without hesitation, Annette donated a kidney to her father in April and saved his life.
After two months of recovery, both are doing great, and Larry feels like he's 20 years younger.
Wednesday, June 5 – Sister Vickie Perkins
Sister Vickie Perkins is the founding president of Cristo Rey Kansas City High School, a school that offers a college prep education enhanced by a corporate work-study program that teaches students skills to use in a work environment. Since the first year in 2006, Vickie is proud to say every student has been accepted into college and over 70% of them are still in school.
A member of the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, Vickie previously served as a teacher, principal, superintendent of schools, and executive director of a home for emotionally disturbed children.
Thursday, June 6 – Makaela Kerr
A cheerleader, student athlete, and volunteer, Makaela Kerr has been key in the development of the Y Challengers Cheer Clinic at the YMCA. Through the program, Makaela teaches the children with special needs new skills and encourages them to try new fitness activities, no matter their individual abilities.
Makaela's positive impact on others has made her a role model for young children.
Friday, June 7 – Kelly Manz
Kelly Manz's daughter Chloe, was born with an undetected congenital heart defect that, had it not been for Kelly's motherly intuition, could have cost Chloe her life. She insisted on a pulse oximetry test for her daughter, an easy and noninvasive life-saving test that is not mandated by most states.
To help future newborns and their mothers, Kelly worked closely with organizations like the American Heart Association and to pass legislation in Missouri that would require all newborns to be screened with pulse ox.
Saturday, June 8 – Susan Brown
A police officer in Kansas City, Kansas for 31 and a half years, Susan Brown showed tremendous bravery in October of 2006. While guarding the vault at the Kansas Speedway, 2 armed men approached the vault with plans to rob it. Not allowing them access, Susan was shot multiple times, but due to her courageous and heroic actions, no one else was harmed.
After a year of recovery, Susan returned to the force full-time, and eventually retired at the end of last year.
Sunday, June 9 – Sara Tuttle-Inman
Last June, on her 7-month wedding anniversary, Sara Tuttle-Inman had a seizure that was caused by a malignant brain tumor, then quickly had surgery and began treatments. During the last year, she had two more surgeries and defeated two blood infections, totaling over 30 days in the hospital.
Today is her 27th birthday, a day she was not sure she would see, and has made it here by staying positive and with the support of her family and friends.
Monday, June 10 – Michelle Rivera
In 2002, Michelle Rivera started Spay & Neuter Kansas City, a local nonprofit clinic located in Kansas City, Missouri, to provide low-cost or free sterilization surgeries for dogs and cats that belong to needy families. Through the clinic's different programs, they assist over 14,000 needy pets each year and have performed over 60,000 free and low cost spay/neuter surgeries over the last 10 years.
As a result of these efforts, Michelle and her team at Spay & Neuter Kansas City have helped decrease the number of shelter intakes each year.
Tuesday, June 11 – Paul Washington
A committed father and husband, Paul Washington has 3 teenagers that he tries to stay current with by getting familiar with the technology they use, but also insists on face-to-face conversations. An inspiration to many, Paul is a public school teacher and aims to be a positive influence for many of his students who need a male role model in their lives.
Earlier this evening, Paul was named the 2013 Royals Father of the Year, as part of the club's annual collaboration with the National Center for Fathering.
Wednesday, June 12 – Jo Ann Herd
At the age of 72, Jo Ann Herd actively participates in a type of karate called Okinawa Kenpo and has become an accomplished martial artist with a black belt. Though already active, Jo Ann's biggest reason for taking up Okinawa Kenpo was her grandson Ethan, who has Asperger's Syndrome. She did not want his disability to hold him back and, as a result, together they have successfully trained and practiced the art.
A role model for many, Jo Ann makes a positive impact on everyone around her.
Friday, June 21 – Debbie Pennington
As the Clinical Program Coordinator at the University of Kansas Hospital's Neonatal Home, Debbie Pennington has been caring for premature and at-risk infants since 1985. Possessing a passion and enthusiasm for her role, Debbie works tirelessly to become each family's liason, reducing barriers and coordinating appointments in order for them to receive optimal care.
Last night current & former Royals players joined supporters, local restaurants and fans at the Royals Charities Diamond of Dreams which benefited the Neonatal Medical Home.
Saturday, June 22 – Rick Dawson
Once homeless himself, Rick Dawson is the director of Heart âN Hand ministries, a faith-based community outreach organization. Passionate for the poor and unemployed, Rick runs the food pantry, employment center, and homeless program, and will open up his house if he finds someone who needs to eat.
Recently, Rick acquired a new, larger facility that will allow him to add a soup kitchen that will feed four-to-five-hundred families a month.
Sunday, June 23 – Ed Hubbard
As a coach, advocate, donor, and Board Member of the YMCA Challenger Program, Ed Hubbard has served numerous hours since he started as a volunteer in the program for children and young adults with special needs. Each year, Ed coaches his son, Andrew's Challenger teams, and many of the parents commend him for involving every player and making each day a memorable experience.
Ed's wife, Tracy, and son, Andrew, also volunteer with the YMCA Challenger Program and together raise awareness of the program to others in the community.
Tuesday, June 25 – Jon Sink
Freshcassette - Creative Compassion is a project Jon Sink started in 2010 to showcase music, art, and video that benefits humanitarian and philanthropic efforts. Through creative efforts like music remixes and lemonade stands, Jon has been able to raise money to send bicycles and complete construction on a clean-water well in Africa.
This year, Jon and Freshcassette have partnered with the non-profit organization, Planting Peace, to creatively raise money for orphanages and homeless children in Haiti, and in just a few days, raised over $20,000.
Wednesday, June 26 – Andrea Severa Switzer
In 2010, Andrea Severa Switzer started Saving Every Victim, a non-profit organization for cancer victims and their families of Linn County, Missouri. Through Saving Every Victim, Andrea has raised thousands of dollars for cancer research by hosting fundraisers like Hoopin' for a Difference and, most recently, the first ever SEV Rock 'N' Roll Walk/Run.
Tuesday, July 2 – Addy Davidson
While following her husband during several transfers, Adeline Davidson served in the Air Force Sergeants Association for thirty-nine years and is still an active member. Once her husband retired, Addy became very involved with the Kansas City Veterans Administration Medical Center, amassing well over 4,000 hours of volunteer services. She now helps organize activities, parties, and schedules of other volunteers.
For her efforts and dedication to the KCVA, Addy was awarded the 2012 Presidential Achievement Award which included a signed letter by President Barack Obama.
Wednesday, July 3 – Beverly Shelton
In 1972, our honoree founded the Beverly Shelton Girls Town Club with the sole purpose of supporting the residential care facility for abused and neglected girls. Over the past 40 years, Beverly Shelton's club has hosted an annual benefit card party and has raised tens of thousands of dollars for Missouri Girls Town.
Beverly, who is 87 years old, has also served as the president of the Greater Federation of Women's Club in Missouri and was awarded the prestigious Jennie Award for her work.
Thursday, July 4 – Sharon Katz
As the Executive Director of SAFEHOME, Sharon Katz helped lead the growth of the shelter from a small, rundown grassroots shelter for 29 battered women and their children, to a state of the art facility for 45 that serves 6,500 individuals each year. Throughout her time there, Sharon added courts and hospitals, a professional counseling program, and an education and prevention program for students.
After serving for 20 years and winning many awards for the home, Sharon retired from the organization in February.
Friday, July 5 – Tom Waggoner, David de la Fuente and Terry Smitka
After visiting a charter school and wanting to do more for students, Tom Waggoner, David de la Fuente, and Terry Smitka decided to form W-D-S Educational Foundation with the goal of assisting motivated students who want to better their lives, but fall just below the standards of a typical scholarship. By working with school counselors and evaluating applications, the founders have been able to grant more than $140,000 in scholarships to deserving students.
In order to maximize the scholarship dollars, Tom, David, and Terry ensure that all money donated goes towards the fund and all expenses are paid by the founders.
Saturday, July 6 – Larry Gordon
A regular blood donor for over 35 years, Larry Gordon has donated a total of 200 pints of blood. After retiring from the General Services Administration three years ago, Larry became a volunteer driver for the Community Blood Center, commandeering one of the CBC's vehicles to pick up blood donations weekly in Topeka, Kansas, and returning them to the main office in Kansas City.
Larry has made donating blood a life mission and encourages others to do so as well. Fans are encouraged to donate during the Royals Community Blood Drive, taking place next week at Community Blood Centers throughout the region. For more information, check out savealifenow.org.
Sunday, July 7 – Mike Low
In 2009, Mike Low founded Bessie's House, a restored home that offers a safe and positive environment for Kansas City's homeless population. Through Bessie's House, Mike and his volunteers have been able to offer showers, laundry, and meals, while mentoring and supporting those who need it.
Serving as a role model to many, Mike also leads Bible studies and maintains the Harvester's Emergency Pantry where he distributes items to those in need.
Friday, July 19 – Sylvia Hernandez
After her daughter, Isabella, was diagnosed with a type of brain cancer in 2008, Sylvia Hernandez moved her family from Wichita for treatment at Children's Mercy. Isabella went into remission into 2009, but Sylvia was so inspired to help other families she decided to keep her family in Kansas City and take on a bigger role at the hospital.
Calling herself a "Mom on a Mission," Sylvia finds ways to help other families deal with whatever diagnosis they are given.
Saturday, July 20 – SuEllen Fried
Long an advocate for the prevention of child abuse, SuEllen Fried has worked with over 85,000 students and educators in 36 states during the last 18 years. The founder of BullySafeUSA, SuEllen serves as an international speaker and workshop leader by working with others across the country to conduct student empowerment sessions in schools.
SuEllen has co-authored three books on the subject of bullying and has appeared on television shows including "Good Morning America" and the "Today" show.
Sunday, July 21 – Tricia Mulvaney
A volunteer coach for Girls on the Run, Tricia Mulvaney spends her time working with 3rd through 5th grade girls at Lee A. Tolbert school. Possessing infectious enthusiasm, strong character, and a joyful spirit, Tricia is a great role model in the program and helps every girl feel like they can embrace who they are.
Girls on the Run is a youth development program for girls in 3rd through 8th grade with a mission to inspire girls to be healthy and confident by using an experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.
Monday, July 22 – Gary Swanson
A retired marketing executive, Gary Swanson has spent the last decade volunteering for the Veterans History Project of the Library of Congress. Gary has interviewed over 1000 veterans on tape, and works with schools to create programs to allow students to hear the veteran's stories before they are no longer with us.
Honored by the Library of Congress in 2005, Gary also founded the World War 2 Living History Series at the Trailside Center and the local chapter of Honor Flight which takes veterans to Washington DC to visit the monuments.
Tuesday, July 23 – Clayton Zupon
After passing up potential baseball scholarships, Clayton Zupon joined the U.S. Marines. During his second deployment to the Middle East, doctors discovered a plum-sized tumor in his brain and eventually another on his spine, giving him less than a year to live. Three years later, and after numerous radiation and chemotherapy treatments, Clayton was honorably discharged with a Medical Retirement in 2010 and is still beating the odds.
The Peculiar, Missouri resident represented the Royals at last week's Tribute to Heroes program as part of the MLB All-Star Game.
Wednesday, July 24 – Wayne Gilmore
Actively trying to improve children's lives, Wayne Gilmore was instrumental in bringing Big Brothers Big Sisters to Labette County, and has served as the program's president. Wayne also coaches and serves as President of the Parsons branch of the Babe Ruth League. An optometrist in Parsons, Kansas, Wayne and his partner provide charity eye care, assisting the Lions Club, Community Clinic and the See To Learn Foundation.
As a member of many local boards, Wayne and his wife, Tracy are passionate about making the lives of those in their community better.
Thursday, July 25 – Darrell Krulic
A baseball player, Darrell Krulic was told he wouldn't be able to play anymore after he was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder called a-plastic anemia, an immune process where the body attacks itself. Though disappointed and sad he could no longer play, Darrell was able to continue to be a part of baseball by coaching and mentoring youth through the Kansas City, Kansas R-B-I program.
The RBI program is MLB's youth initiative that gives young people from urban and underserved communities the opportunity to play baseball and softball.
Monday, August 5 – Don Booz
A lover of baseball, Don Booz played for the Navy during World War 2 and managed the baseball team at his alma mater, Graceland University. As the Director of Development and Public Relations at Graceland, he was responsible for raising funds for campus-wide projects and improvements.
An ordained minister, Don was part of a team that raised funds to build the Community of Christ Temple and the Restoration Trails Foundation in Independence, Missouri.
Tuesday, August 6 – Judy Frye
After starting as a volunteer in Johnson and Wyandotte Counties, Judy Frye now serves as the Board President for the Kansas Court Appointed Special Advocates program. A non-profit organization, CASA serves as a voice of abused and neglected children and helps them have safe and permanent homes. Judy works hard to spread the importance of having volunteers work with individual children to understand their situations.
In addition, as a member of the Monticello United Methodist Church, she also generously gives her time, talents, and resources to help the youth of the Church.
Wednesday, August 7 – Jill Filer
After spending many months in and out of Children's Mercy Hospital, Jill Filer's son, Cade, lost his battle with brain cancer in 2003. Because of his love for the Child Life Program at the Hospital, Jill, with the help of her husband Bill and son Evan, organized an annual birthday party in 2010, to raise money for the program by inviting the public for food, crafts, and fun.
Working tirelessly for this year's party, Jill and her family helped raise nearly $13,000 with all proceeds benefiting the Child Life Program.
Thursday, August 8 – Jack Spahr
After deciding to devote his time to coaching his daughter and their friends, Jack Spahr became involved in the Johnson County Girls Athletic Association. Hoping to make sports more accessible to girls, Jack Spahr served as the President of the Board of Directors of the JCGAA and, during his tenure, oversaw the construction of multiple new softball fields, a gymnasium that houses basketball courts, and expanded the number of programs offered to girls.
Trying to make softball more accessible, Jack also served as the ASA Kansas City Metro Youth Commissioner and was on the founding board of the National AFA Fastpitch Organization.
Friday, August 9 – Don Craig
After coming to Topeka in 1969 to build the Washburn University Rowing Crew, in 1971, Don Craig co-founded Topeka Rowing in order to give kids a safe, drug free alternative. For the past forty-six years, Don has volunteered multiple days a week to provide kids a way to learn and excel in rowing, academics, and life.
Throughout his years Don has coached forty-eight national medal crews, hosted three National Championships at Lake Shawnee in Topeka, and officiated the 1984 and 1996 Summer Olympic Games, along with many World Championships.
Saturday, August 10 – Chris Beard
When he was just ten years old, Chris Beard sustained burns on over twenty percent of his body. After bravely facing the pain and physical challenges of transitioning from a burn victim to a burn survivor, Chris is now fully recovered and a role model for burn victims as they travel on their path to recovery.
Sitting with Chris is Kayla Northrop, one of the expert nurses of The University of Kansas Hospital's Burnett Burn Center, the only adult and pediatric burn center in greater Kansas City to be accredited by the American Burn Association and the American College of Surgeons.
Sunday, August 11 – Kate Miles
Wanting to help others who are grieving, Kate Miles serves as the Clinical and Program Manager and a Grief Therapist at Solace House. The non-profit provides individual counseling and support groups for children and adults who are experiencing grief or loss. As a certified clinical trauma professional, Kate oversees all aspects of the program and provides therapy services to clients at Solace House.
Having a Master's license in Social Work, Kate also has a private practice that specializes in working with families with children with special needs.
Monday, August 12 – David Nelson
A member of the World's Faith Center for over thirty years, Dr. David Nelson co-founded the Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council to welcome people of different religions and offer various programs to those involved. David also works as an appreciative inquiry coach and with the Life Connections Program at the Penitentiary in Leavenworth, assisting many by helping them discover what they do best.
David has helped mentor and transform hundreds of individuals to become leaders within their community.
Tuesday, August 13 – Rick Meyers
Selflessly giving his time to make school athletics better, Rick Meyers serves as the volunteer athletic director at St. Regis Grade School. While spending countless hours organizing athletic functions, Rick also wrote and coordinated grant applications, eventually earning the school two major grants that allowed them to rebuild their football field, remodel their gym floor, and buy all new equipment for various sports.
Rick, who works in Retail Operations for Sprint, also maintains the field conditions at the school to ensure the quality of the field.
Wednesday, August 14 – Marty Allen
Upon returning from the VietNam War, Marty Allen became the head football coach at Highland Community College for over thirty years. After he retired, Marty spent his time as a volunteer delivering food for the meals on wheels program, coaching as an assistant for various youth sports, and as the building supervisor for Highland Christian Church.
Today, Marty and his wife of forty-five years remain active members of their community, and Marty has dedicated his life to teaching sports.
Tuesday, August 20 – Trish Bradford
An administrative clerk in the training unit of the Lawrence Police Department, Trish Bradford also serves on the board of the department's Blue Santa program, which provides toys and food for those who are less fortunate at Christmas. Trish works extremely hard organizing donations, fundraisers, gift wrappings, and the delivery of the toys, all while maintaining her position within the police department.
Wednesday, August 21 – Landon Ginther
Last winter, Landon Ginther was diagnosed with Stage III Childhood Hodgkin's Lymphoma and began chemotherapy treatments on his fourteenth birthday. After three rounds of chemotherapy and forty days of radiation, Landon had a clear scan and beat cancer. With a new purpose in life, Landon is now trying to raise awareness and money for blood cancer research and support others suffering from the disease.
In honor of Landon, a portion of the proceeds from tonight's 50/50 jackpot will go toward to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Thursday, August 22 – Chris Wolfenbarger
A combat medic, SPC Christopher Wolfenbarger was deployed to Afghanistan in 2009 on a mission to clear routes so locals could travel safely. On February 12, 2010, with intelligence of a large I-E-D buried in their route, Chris tried to wave a car away from the area when a bomb in the car exploded, knocking Chris unconscious. Now suffering from TBI and PTSD, Chris was awarded, among others, the Purple Heart and the Army Combat Medical Badge.
He and his wife Leah, have three children who are all Folds of Honor Future Use scholarship recipients.
Friday, August 23 – Kim Patterson
Diagnosed with leukemia when she was just four years old, and relapsing when she was nine, Kim Patterson knew this experience would shape her entire life and decided to help others. While at Rockhurst University, Kim started and led the school's first Relay for Life chapter and, through annual walks, raised more than $148,000 for cancer research.
An honor student, Kim graduated in May with a double major in nursing and Spanish and is now working as an pediatric oncology nurse at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City.
Saturday, August 24 – Betty Brown (Negro Leagues Baseball Museum)
Heavily involved with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, Betty Brown was the first female Board Chairman for the Board of Directors at the museum and still holds the position. Instrumental in creating various retail partnerships between Coors Brewing Company and the museum, Betty helped establish a $1 million naming rights sponsorship of the Field of Legends.
A trustee and member of the Paradise Missionary Baptist Church, Betty is also the President of the Derrick Thomas 3rd and Long Foundation.
Sunday, August 25 – Bill Price
After retiring from the State of Kansas as a systems analyst, Bill Price has volunteered at the Unified School District 322 in Onaga, Kansas for the last ten years. Helping the IT department, he updates the school computers, volunteers daily in the library, and helps the physical education teacher with the kindergarten and first grade classes. Outside of school, Bill also plays guitar and sings country music at multiple nursing homes each month.
A victim of polio when he was seventeen, Bill has been in a wheelchair for fifty-four years, but has not let that slow him down.
Monday, August 26 – Kay Roscoe
Kay Roscoe is the Membership Chairman of the Salvation Army Women's Auxiliary, assisting those in need in a variety of ways including collecting and distributing gifts through the Angel Tree program, raising money after natural disasters, and serving food to homeless during the holidays.
Kay recently assisted with the Larry Stewart Radiothon, which together with 610 Sports Radio & 106.5 The Wolf raised nearly $90,000 for the Salvation Army Children's Shelter.
Monday, September 2 – Jacob Landis
When he was just two years old, Jacob Landis began losing his hearing and eventually received a cochlear implant when he was ten. Now twenty-four, Jacob is on a 10,500 mile, coast-to-coast bike ride that stops at all thirty Major League Baseball Stadiums to raise awareness and hopes to raise $1 million to help those who need cochlear implants, but cannot afford one.
Today at Kauffman Stadium, the 26th ballpark he has visited, Jacob is joined by nearly 200 local supporters.
Tuesday, September 3 – Laura Eickman
A psychologist specializing in the treatment of eating disorders, Laura Eickman started REbeL, a student-driven education and prevention program that addresses eating and body image concerns. Educated on topics such as inefficacy of diets and media literacy, the members of REbeL talk about issues, strive to improve their own self-esteem and eventually become leaders to help their peers.
Under Laura's leadership and guidance, the students participate in many events throughout the year, including the Walk to REbeL which helps spread their mission.
Wednesday, September 4 – Allen Meyer
For 19 years, Allen Meyer was a board member for the Grandview C-4 School Board and served in many roles including President. During his tenure, Allen led the District to pass multiple Bond and Levy elections totaling over $30 million and helped earn the school their first Accreditation with Distinction Status.
Now the General Manager of McGilley and George Funeral Homes in Grandview and Belton, Missouri, Allen also established a scholarship in his name for seniors who exemplify community service.
Thursday, September 5 – Father Tom Tank
Monsignor Tom Tank celebrates ten year years as senior pastor at Ascension Catholic Church in Overland Park following decades of service in Wyandotte and Johnson counties. Under his leadership, Ascension parish has become the largest supplier of canned and dry foods to local Catholic Charities. He has led prison and homeless ministries, home ownership programs and overseas relief efforts.
Father Tom is joined at today's game by members of the parish seniors' group.
Friday, September 6 – Lori Behrens
Having a strong passion for children, Lori began working with SIDS Resources in 1995 as a way to combine her experience with infant development and grief counseling. The Executive Director for the last eight years, Lori oversees the statewide activities, including grief support, outreach, and education, as well as coordinating all administrative and fundraising initiatives.
Through their various services, SIDS Resources and other public health organizations have helped lower the incidence of SIDS by 50%.
Saturday, September 7 – Jan Regan
After receiving so much support during her daughter's cancer treatment, Jan Regan organized the Sunday Night Meal Program at Kansas City's Ronald McDonald houses. Jan coordinates volunteers to cook a home cooked meal for families who are staying at the house while their children are receiving medical care in area hospitals.
For the last 30 years, Jan has coordinated and attended every Sunday night meal and helped to organize others throughout the week.
Sunday, September 8 – Valerie Robinson
After adopting a dog from the MoKan Boxer Rescue, Valerie Robinson decided to start fostering boxers until they find a permanent home. In 2010, to help raise funds for medical treatment, boarding, and other expenses for the group, Valerie created the "Running of the Dogs" 5K Race and Walk in Independence that allows people to run the event with their pets.
In addition, Valerie also serves as the primary volunteer in the Kansas City Metro area, visiting homes and finding families for the rescued dogs.
Monday, September 16 – Bill Campbell
Bill Campbell and his family are life-long Kansas Citians. Sent out by Red Bridge Baptist Church ten years ago, he and his wife Jennifer began the Haiti Home of Hope orphanage. Through the orphanage, Bill and his wife have provided food, medicine, clothing, and shelter for hundreds of orphans.
Wanting to ensure many get the food they need, Bill and his wife also oversee an extensive food center for the most needy in central Haiti.
Tuesday, September 17 – Susie Popplewell and Sally Stuart
After her son created the program with Shawnee Mission East, Susie Popplewell, with the help of Sally Stuart, took over and continued "Pack of Pals" which is a group of teenagers that host social events for special needs students. With the assistance of students who are in regular education classes, Pack of Pals provides a much needed positive social interaction and sense of belonging to those who may have been otherwise excluded.
Wednesday, September 18 – Jonathan Stoeckle
Early on a typical Monday morning, volunteer firefighter and E-M-T Jonathan Stoeckle was driving down I-29 when he saw a man walking on the highway get hit by two cars. Wanting to help the victim, Jonathan quickly got out of his car, carried him away from oncoming traffic, and revived the man.
Due to Jonathan's bravery and skills, he saved the man's life.
Friday, September 20 – Teresa Kouba
Active at ninety-four, Teresa Kouba spends most of her days volunteering for different organizations. On Mondays, she volunteers at Hallmark's Kaliedoscope and spends Tuesdays at the Truman Medical Center assembling blankets, gowns, and hats for newborns. Teresa also feeds breakfast to the homeless on Wednesdays and greets visitors to the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception on Thursdays.
Humble and giving, Teresa helps others realize the joy that can be had in serving others.
Saturday, September 21 – Helen Baker
The head librarian for the Plaza Library when it opened in 1967, Helen Baker helped establish new community programs throughout the Kansas City Library system including special children's programs and lectures. After retiring, she spent 10 years as head of the food pantry at Central Presbyterian Church, ten more years tutoring children at Troost School, and currently, at ninety-five, volunteers at 2nd Presbyterian Church.
A huge Royals fan, Helen attended her first game here at Kauffman Stadium and went to George Brett's Hall of Fame induction at Cooperstown.
Sunday, September 22 – Jim Herzig
After retiring from the Kansas City Police Department, Jim Herzig joined the Royals event staff and has spent this last season helping fans during games in the main lobby. A Royals employee for 17 seasons, Jim was chosen to sit in the Buck O'Neil Legacy seat because of his exceptional ability to provide fans with great customer service and experience.
Here celebrating with Jim today is his wife Vicki, daughter Sherri, son-in-law Bob, and granddaughter Emileigh, who is an usher for the Royals.