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.
To nominate someone for the 2012 program, please click here.
Monday, April 2 - Warren O'Neil
Brother of the late Buck O'Neil.
Wednesday, April 4 - Debra Callaway
Anonymous kidney donor.
Thursday, April 5 - Dave Murphy
Olathe (Kan.) baseball coach for over 40 years.
Friday, April 6 - Michelle Ford
Developed baseball program for kids with special needs.
Saturday, April 7 - Tim Crone
High-school coach who inspired students in his school.
Sunday, April 8 - Conrad Brady
Created baseball leagues for Agra, Kan., community.
Friday, April 20 - Bob Walkenhorst
Volunteer at Primo Garcia School leading Hero Program to honor local leader.
Saturday, April 21 - Kimberly Givner
Public housing director and created John "Buck" O'Neil Field.
Sunday, April 22 - James Elliott
Hillsboro, Kan., local leader and father who travels with son with special needs on ballpark tour.
Monday, April 23 - Rob Desselle
Youth baseball coach and father whose team honors legacy of KC Monarchs.
Tuesday, April 24 - Wayne Morris
Coach who integrated youth baseball team in 1960's.
Monday, April 30 - Evelyn Hurlbert
A grandmother and mother of 10 children, Evelyn devotes her life to her family including caring for her 50-year-old mentally challenged son. She resides in Overland Park, Kan., and continues to volunteer in the community and cheer on the Royals.
Tuesday, May 1 - Don Green
After retiring from 40 years of service at the United States Postal Service, Don has dedicated his time and efforts to serving others through selfless actions including mowing the lawns of his elderly neighbors to volunteering within his church and community clubs in Spring Hill, Kan.
Wednesday, May 2 - Carole Diehl
Kansas City, Kan., Commissioner Bill Miller nominated Carole for her commitment to the Strawberry Hill neighborhood. She has helped to improve her community through many urban core issues, in addition to spearheading an effort to build a WWII memorial honoring Strawberry Hill veterans.
Thursday, May 3 - Pete Graham Sr.
A father of seven, grandfather of more than 15 and great-grandfather of more than 20, Pete is a US Army veteran who has dedicated himself to baseball. He has coached youth of all ages in baseball for more than 50 years and impacted many young ball players in Independence, Mo.
Friday, May 4 - Laurence Smith
This 92-year-old Kansas City, Mo., resident has a strong faith, a sense of humor and sympathy for the needs of others. He volunteers throughout the community in various capacities including working with youth, transporting Parkinson's patients and teaching at the Shepherd's Center.
Saturday, May 5 - Richard Jackson
Raised in an orphanage in Rochester, N.Y., Richard has been a model of community service in Ottawa, Kan., for more than 40 years. He has worked tirelessly for ECKAN, a poverty fighting non-profit agency for years, in addition to improving the lives of minorities.
Sunday, May 6 - Kevin Green
Local home builder, Kevin Green, has been instrumental in helping those in need through many efforts including the Extreme Makeover Home Edition builds for families in Kansas City. His company recently completed a home for a family in the Northland which will be featured on the ABC show on Sunday, May 13.
Tuesday, May 8 - Dan Barnes
Serving as Scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 32 in Raymore, Mo., for more than 20 years, Dan Barnes dedicates his time and energy to more than 70 scouts each year promoting character development, citizenship and personal fitness. His wife, Tammy, joins him to introduce first year scouts to the scouting way of life.
Wednesday, May 9 - Joe Rhea
At the age of 14, Raytown, Mo., resident Joe Rhea was paralyzed from the neck down while playing football. Today, 22 years later, he is a walking, running, snow skiing medical miracle. Joe travels around the county inspiring youth through his recovery as well as teaching about brain and spinal cord injury prevention.
Thursday, May 10 - Bailey Harmon
Lee's Summit, Mo., 10-year-old Bailey Harmon does not let his debilitating disorder divert his positive attitude. His ability to work through daily challenges is an inspiration to his family and others. The Fox 4 Love Fund has provided assistance to Bailey's family as well as thousands of others throughout Kansas City.
Tuesday, May 22 - Jonathan Hill
Serving as an inspiration for others, Jonathan Hill from Olathe, Kan., has not let the vision loss he experienced at a young age stop him from his zest for life. With his guide dog, Arbor, by his side, Jonathan has parasailed, deep sea fished, earned the honor of Eagle Scout and is now in school to become a massage therapist.
Wednesday, May 23 - Kyle Michael Hill
On his first day as a firefighter, Kyle Michael Stevens and his captain collapsed through the floor into the burning basement of a residential house while searching for victims. Surprisingly, Kyle returned to work the next day and continues to serve and protect the people of Independence, MO.
Thursday, May 24 - Nanetta Cater
A 78-year-old retired schoolteacher, Nanetta Cater devoted the last 45 years of her life to advocating for and coaching girls and women in fast pitch softball. Creating a league in her small Missouri town, Nanetta traveled the Midwest with her team, mentoring hundreds of girls and giving them the opportunity to "play ball."
Friday, May 25 - Larry Moore
KMBC long-time anchor Larry Moore is viewed in the homes of the community every day and is an advocate for many Kansas Citians. The local chapter of the Dream Factory is synonymous with Larry's name, as well as many other local charities and organizations. He is a true neighbor to all in the community.
Saturday, May 26 - Nova and Dennis Maack
After retiring from professional careers, Dennis and Nova Maack from Overland Park, Kan., joined the Peace Corps. Assigned to Moldova, a country in the former Soviet Union, Dennis and Nova used their life experiences in education and business to help local organizations with planning and development.
Sunday, May 27 - Sgt. 1st Class Craig Glynn
Sgt. 1st Class Craig Glynn served as a Green Beret Medic during the Vietnam War and spent more than two years as a prisoner of war in Laos. Today, the Shawnee, Kan., resident works as a Veteran Liaison assisting those who have served our country as well as volunteering at the local Veterans Administration Hospital.
Monday, May 28 - Sgt. 1st Class Will Lallement
After being shot by an enemy sniper in Iraq in January 2005, Sgt. 1st Class Will Lallement almost lost his arm. However, doctors were able to save his arm and the Leavenworth, Kan., resident returned to active duty. Sgt. 1st Class LallementÂs resilience is an inspiration to his family, friends and fellow soldiers.
Tuesday, May 29 - Dr. Jim Gill
For more than 40 years, Dr. Jim Gill touched the lives of thousands of young people as a teacher, counselor and administrator in the Kansas City area. Dr. Gill instilled in his students the value of education, treating others with kindness and having a positive attitude. Growing up in the Strawberry Hill neighborhood, Dr. Gill has remained a life long Royals fan.
Wednesday, May 30 - Nancy Lonergan
For more than 18 years, Nancy Lonergan has taught grades third through eighth and currently serves as an English as a Second Language teacher in Kansas City, Mo. Eight years ago, after being diagnosed with Non-HodgkinÂs Lymphoma, Nancy had a tumor removed but only missed two days of school and has been cancer free ever since.
Friday, June 8 - Mike Etnire
A college umpire, Mike Etnire has taken his trade to the classroom, teaching thousands of young men and women in the community the skills of umpiring. While conducting these classes, the Leawood, Kan., resident goes beyond teaching umpiring techniques by instilling good sportsmanship and reminding kids to smile because they have the best seat on the baseball field.
Saturday, June 9 - Al Carpenter
After retiring from a long career with Amoco Oil Company, Al Carpenter took on a new career when he turned a part-time substitute teacher gig into a full-time teacher position of behaviorally disordered kids at Santa Fe Trail Junior High in Olathe, Kan. Al then decided, in his mid-70s, to go back to school and complete the course requirements for special education certification and his Masters degree.
Sunday, June 10 - Terry McCaffery
A hospice clinical director for Crossroads, Terry McCaffery has cared for hundreds of U.S. military veterans who are dealing with end-of-life issues. Working closing with these veterans as they dealt with pains of grief, the Shawnee, Kan., resident developed a program that is now in use to provide dying vets with special recognition and honor.
Tuesday, June 12 - Dick Kaegel
Even though he often hides it behind his words, Dick KaegelÂs dedication and loyalty to the Royals and organization is genuine and well known. As a former Kansas City Star sports reporter, Dick spent many years following the team for the paper before signing with mlb.com as the royals.com beat writer.
Wednesday, June 13 - Roy Morrill
For more than 30 years, Roy Morrill has served as the Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kansas City. Under RoyÂs leadership, BBBSKS has become recognized as the preeminent youth mentoring program in the region. Thousands of children have been impacted by the services provided by the organization and his legacy will be felt long after his retirement on Aug. 1, 2007.
Thursday, June 14 - Maureen and Mark Huppe
In addition to caring for their own seven children, Maureen and Mark Huppe have also taken on the responsibility of caring for hundreds of other children as principals of St. AnnÂs School and Holy Cross School, respectively. The Overland Park couple, who have been married for 26 years and have more than 50 years of experience in their field, are well known for their willingness to be available to others in the community.
Friday, June 15 - Bob Kendrick
For years, Bob Kendrick could have easily been labeled as Buck OÂNeilÂs right-hand man, event organizer and dear, close friend. The label would have fit like a glove given BobÂs position as the Director of Marketing for the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. Bob worked closely with Buck to put the museum on the national map and is now working even harder to help raise funds for the John ÂBuckÂ OÂNeil Education and Research Center and preserve BuckÂs legacy in Kansas City.
Saturday, June 16 - 1st Sgt. Albert Curley (Military Appreciation Day)
Honored for his commitment to the Fort Riley community, Retired 1st Sgt. Albert Curley actively helps preserve the history at the Army base. He served in the all-black 9th and 10th Cavalries, more commonly known as the Buffalo Soldiers. As a rifleman in World War II Italy, Curley was awarded the Purple Heart for wounds received clearing enemy machine gun nests. Today he shares the Buffalo SoldiersÂ story with the public and participates in veteransÂ and community affairs.
Sunday, June 17 - Mark Hoduski
Nominated by his 10th grade daughter Tess, Mark Hoduski was recently named the 2007 Royals Father of the Year for his commitment to his family. Mark nurtures an effective father-child relationship by providing security, discipline, and a role model of a good husband, worker, and citizen. In addition to being a passionate father, Mark provides an enthusiastic view of history to his students at Maranatha Academy in Shawnee, Kan.
Friday, June 29 - Pat Neaves
Nominated by the staff of Angel Flight Central, Pat Neaves of Lee's Summit, Mo., became a volunteer for the organization after a friend fighting breast cancer was able to access life extending care thanks to the organization. Pat now visits other people battling illnesses and makes sure they are able to receive the medical care they desperately need.
Saturday, June 30 - Jim Kenney
Jim Kenney has been the driving force at State Farm in establishing the Legends Luncheons series which to this date has generated more than $100,000 in support of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. The Lexington, Mo., resident supports the unique baseball series that honors the proud history of the league at events throughout the baseball season. Jim helps to keep the memory of Buck and the other Negro League players alive.
Sunday, July 1 - Evelyn Besser
Evelyn Besser was a dear friend of Buck O'Neil for more than 10 years and was his companion at many civic functions and at many of the awards ceremonies at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. After O'Neil was admitted to the hospital in early August of 2006, Evelyn took a leave of absence from her job to care for him and be with him during his final weeks on Earth.
Monday, July 2 - Canary Smith
As a 48-year employee of the Kansas City, Mo., School District, Canary Smith is truly dedicated to the youth of Kansas City. She has always sought to share the gift of travel and has organized over 100 trips to destinations all across the world. In addition, Canary is also devoted to the Delta Sigma Cotillion, an organization inspiring young girls ages 10 to 14, to better citizenship.
Tuesday, July 3 - Rev. Sam Sanford
Rev. Sam Sanford served as a United States Army Chaplain for 30 years retiring as a Colonel. He has served active duty soldiers in several different countries and as they return from war. He currently cares for military members as the Leavenworth Veteran's Affairs Medical Center's Chaplain and recently developed a program for Veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Wednesday, July 4 - Jim Carroll
Jim Carroll served in World War II and was one of the many who landed on Normandy; however he arrived to see the aftermath on the day after the infamously bloody D-Day. He was honored with the Bronze Star by the US Military. Nominated by his daughter, Jim is a humble hero sacrificing time with family in Kansas City, Mo., in order to fight for his country.
Thursday, July 6 - Leonard Rose
Not only did Overland Park, Kans., resident Leonard Rose serve in World War II, but he was also a survivor of one of Kansas City's greatest tragedies, the collapse of the lobby in the Hyatt Regency on July 17, 1981. He and his wife and several of their friends were trapped under rubble for hours, but survived and had a metal rod inserted into his leg. He does not let experience stop him from keeping a strong spirit. Like Buck, Leonard stared adversity in the face and overcame it.
Friday, July 7 - Juli Yocum
Recognizing the large number of single teenage mothers in the Independence-Buckner, Mo., area, Juli Yocum spear-headed a program called Baby Grace to help in the difficult time. Yocum's program provides young mothers with education, supplies and support as they prepare for motherhood. Baby Grace's key message states "Two are better than one for if they fall, one will lift up his companion."
Saturday, July 8 - Eric Kelemen
Occupational Therapist Eric Kelemen was nominated by Melinda Petet, one of his patients who was severely injured after being hit by a car last April. Kelemen provided the guidance to help her improve from lying in a hospital bed to being able to walk again. Kelemen also works with stroke victims and people with brain injuries, providing hope and therapy in difficult times. Melinda said "I only worked with Eric for two weeks and he changed my life."
Monday, July 23 - Paul Gemeinhardt
As the president/CEO of Cornerstones of Care, Paul Gemeinhardt has played an important role in helping to establish COC as a vital community resource for at-risk children and their families. Each day, COC agencies including Gillis, Ozanam and Marillac, provide direct services to more than 2,000 area children and their families. As he approaches retirement at the end of this year, Paul is still setting a prime example of showing total commitment to these children and their families.
Tuesday, July 24 - Patty Garney
Patty Garney has a love for people that she canÂt hide. The Kansas City, Mo., resident is the co-founder of the Harvest Ball, an event which raised more than $3 million for battered women and children, and worked effortlessly to raise money to help fund the first battered womenÂs shelter north of the Missouri River. She has dedicated many hours to helping other non-profit agencies with a focus on reaching out to those most in need.
Wednesday, July 25 - Dalton Vann
Nominated by one of his basketball players, Dalton Vann is more than a coach on the court. The Blue Springs, Mo., resident contributes a lot of his time to the community, helping to set a good example and remind his players that hard work pays off. Dalton dedicates time to the annual Martin Luther King, Jr., Celebration in the area, teaching important life lessons and an every day commitment to his community.
Thursday, July 26 - Waldo Firefighters
Eric Rose, Alfredo Katamura, Jeremiah McDowell, Bruce Stiles and Ron Gibbs put their lives on the line each day as members of the Kansas City, Mo., Fire Department. This past February, these five firefighters rushed into burning buildings in the Waldo area of Kansas City, Mo., to save others from a fire that did severe damage to a historic area in our community. The five spent time in area hospitals recovering from burns they suffered during the fire, yet are now back on active duty with the department.
Friday, July 27 - Diane Henderson
For 34 years, Diane Henderson has introduced the magic of dance into the lives of several area children though her studio, DianeÂs School of Dance in the Northland. Diane teaches and inspires young dancers with all levels of talents, helping each child discover their unique talents and positive attributes, whether big or small.
Saturday, July 28 - Johnnie Matz
Along with lending his time to several causes in the community, Johnnie Matz has donated more than 63 gallons of blood Â the most donated by one person in the Kansas City area! The Shawnee, Kan., resident is also a constant volunteer for the Special Olympics, received the Hammond Lifetime Achievement Award from his employer of 42 years Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad.
Sunday, July 29 - Dr. S.P. Jothi
Looking to help low-income, uninsured families, Dr. S.P. Jothi started a free medical clinic in Parsons, Kan., 11 years ago, and it has been a success ever since. On top of seeing patients throughout the day, Dr. Jothi would frequently work at the free clinic at nights, while also organizing fundraisers as well as turning to fellow physicians to contribute their time to the clinic. Today, Dr. Jothi is a retired physician in Internal Medicine, but he still volunteers at the clinic to guarantee its continued success.
Tuesday, August 7 - Linda Anthony
Linda Anthony has spent several years volunteering with Adopt-a-Pet, providing her home as a foster home for animals in the area until they are placed with permanent families. Along with her love for animals, the Kansas City, Mo., resident has also volunteered at the North Kansas City Hospital, where she volunteers 15 to 18 hours of her time each week.
Wednesday, August 8 - Tony DiPardo
For decades, he has been giving two thumbs up, but now itÂs the communityÂs turn to give Tony DiPardo two thumbs up for all he has done for Kansas City. Known as the ÂMr. MusicÂ of Kansas City, DiPardo will celebrate his 95th birthday on Aug. 26, with an event that benefits The Tony DiPardo Music Foundation, an organization that encourages music and reading to the areaÂs youth. With his trumpet and zest for life, DiPardo has been part of the Kansas City Chiefs organization for more than 40 years and has been an important presence in the community for just as long.
Thursday, August 9 - Jan Sanford
Battling through a bout with breast cancer, Jan Sanford has overcome her setback and spent more than 25 years enriching the lives of senior citizens living in North Kansas City. As the program administrator for the Parks and Recreation Department, she has dedicated herself to the senior community in NKC, planning and chaperoning tourist trips for seniors. Often her dedication goes well above and beyond her job title as she reaches out to become a friend to the cityÂs senior citizen community.
Friday, August 10 - Frank Diskin
Recently retired Rockhurst University athletic director Frank Diskin expanded the schoolÂs athletic department from four-varsity sports with 65 athletes in 1985 to 11 sports with more than 240 athletes. He helped form the Heartland Conference in 1998 and also the Great Lakes Valley Conference in 2005, both of which have become major conferences in NCAA Division II athletics. He also guided Rockhurst to NCAA Division II membership, where they have participated in six NCAA tournament competitions.
Saturday, August 11 - Bill Clem
Bill Clem contracted polio when he was only 18 months old, but did not let it slow him down. The Kansas City, Kan., resident became a member of the Wheelchair Basketball Hall of Fame in 1975, is the only living member of the 1949 national wheelchair basketball championship team, was named to the All-American wheelchair basketball teams six different times and is a 1994 associate member of the Naismith Hall of Fame. The soon to be 80-year old, played 33 years for the ÂKansas City Rolling PioneersÂ and has a park named after him in Kansas City, Kan.
Sunday, August 12 - Dave Benyo
Dave Benyo recently retired from the Hickman Mills School District, where he student taught, taught sixth grade and served as principal during his 32-year career at Dobbs Elementary. Nearly 20 years ago, the LeeÂs Summit, Mo., resident was struck with cancer, which he survived yet still managed to work more than 10 hours a day educating our youth. His strong positive attitude and love of teaching young people has become an inspiration for many in his life.
Monday, August 13 - Ralph Wienke
Ralph Wienke has worked effortlessly to give back to his community, especially as the District Governor who led the campaign to rebuild Missouri City Community Center and provide the area with essentials following the floods of 1993. He has also been a Shriner since 1950, scholarship committee chair of the Truman Community Foundation that provides assistance to people in need, a Salvation Army Bell Ringer for more than 30 years and the Diabetes Awareness and Lions Hearing Van Coordinator at the Missouri State Fair.
Friday, August 24 - Bob and Shirley Legg
After their retirement from the flower shop business, Bob and Shirley Legg from Kansas City, Mo., chose to serve their community in a variety of ways. Shirley coordinates ÂWheels That Care,Â a volunteer-driven transportation program for older adults at ShepherdÂs Center. She recruits, trains and schedules 25 volunteers, including her husband, to help get more than 100 passengers around the city. Bob, along with providing more than 20 round-trip rides weekly, also spends time tutoring grade school students.
Saturday, August 25 - Susan Schular
For several years, Susan Schular has stood out as one of the most dedicated volunteers for the local chapter of the American Red Cross. The Kansas City, Kan., resident, along with her husband, travel around the region, volunteering to help run the emergency quarters for those needing housing following a natural disaster. She helps to run American Red Cross booths at the fair and works with children to promote safety. She was recently named the American Red Cross Volunteer of the Year for the Wyandotte County, Kan., Chapter.
Sunday, August 26 - David Humes
David Humes has a love for children and for inner-city Kansas City that has fueled his motivation to support The Hope Center, a Christian urban outreach ministry in the Prospect corridor on Kansas CityÂs east side. David, who chose to relocate with his wife to that neighborhood, volunteers his time tutoring the neighborhood children and, day in and day out, he is dedicated to seeing the children in the neighborhood succeed educationally, socially and spiritually.
Tuesday, August 28 - Chaplain (LTC) RET Floyd Sullivan
Chaplain Floyd Sullivan has served as an Army chaplain for more than 23 years, making a huge difference in thousands of soldiers and family members lives with his support and encouragement. The Kansas City, Mo., resident, who served in Vietnam before attending the seminary, now serves as chaplain as the Eisenhower Veterans Hospital as well as the Pastor of Mount Olivet Baptist Church in Kansas City.
Wednesday, August 29 - Sisters Berta and Corita
In 1971, Sisters Berta Sailer and Corita Bussanmas founded Operation Breakthrough, committing their lives to serving children of Kansas CityÂs working poor. Since then, Operation Breakthrough welcomes nearly 400 kids a day through the doors of St. VincentÂs Family Service Center at 31st and Troost in Kansas City, Mo. With the Sisters still dedicating their daily time and energy, the program offers early education, child care, health care and more all to help children develop to their fullest potential.
Thursday, August 30 - Janna LaCock
For the past 17 years, Janna LaCock, wife of former Royal Pete LaCock, has devoted her time to improving the quality of life of Kansas Citians who struggle with a blood cancer diagnosis. As the Executive Director for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, she has impacted many through various projects including spearheading an effort to help with medical-related expenses. On Friday, Sept. 14, the organization will host their Light The Night Walk at Corporate Woods in Overland Park, Kan.
Friday, September 7 - Elvera Voth
Elvera Voth started the Arts in Prison, Inc. program in 1995, introducing music, art, gardening, writing and drama to the incarcerated and their families. The successful program has been replicated in prisons throughout the country and Elvera, now 84 years old, continues to lend her time two to three times a week at the Lansing Correctional Facility, directing a choir of inmates. The Lenexa, Kan., resident also directs a group of volunteers and inmates in concerts throughout the Kansas City Metro area each year. The state of Kansas recognized her work and excellence in inspiring others by naming her as the Kansas Outstanding Volunteer.
Saturday, September 8 - Deb Caldwell
For more than 14 years, Deb Caldwell has been a vital volunteer for The Dream Factory in Kansas City. Often working behind the scenes, the Lenexa, Kan., resident has spent countless hours helping to make dreams come true for several area Dream Factory children and their families. Her dedication to The Dream Factory program is noted by many as she is often labeled the ÂheartÂ of the program.
Sunday, September 9 - Teresa Pacheco
Teresa Pacheco is a community member that has reached out to several area organizations to make an impact on Kansas City. She has been named the 2007 YWCA Hearts of Gold Recipient and the 2007 KCK School District Outstanding Alumni partly for her 29 years of service at El Centro, where she served as the first and only female chair. She is also a Wyandotte County American Red Cross honoree, MANA de KC Service Award winner and took home the Carlos Cortez Humanitarian Award from the Hispanic Chamber of Kansas City among many other honors.
Monday, September 10 - Henry Kupfer
Henry Kupfer spends many hours each week visiting local schools as part of the Kiwanis Terrific Kids program and the high school Key Club program. The 89-year-old Kansas City, Mo., resident, who is also a World War II veteran, has become an inspiration to those half his age by lending his experience, knowledge and ability to overcome his own challenges to others.
Tuesday, September 11 - Jill Hyson
On Sept. 11, 2001, Jill Hyson found herself in a situation to help others. While serving a two week assignment with the Air Force Reserves at the Pentagon in Washington D.C., Jill, an X-ray technician, assisted a critically burned Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Brian Birdwell. The Blue Springs, Mo., resident flagged down a vehicle and helped get the victim to Georgetown University Hospital. JillÂs courage and quick thinking helped to save LTC BirdwellÂs life, and showed her dedication to helping others.
Wednesday, September 12 - Frank Peak
For the past five years, Frank Peak has been running the St. James Place food pantry and soup kitchen. St. James Place is operated by the Bishop Sullivan Center, which focuses on providing job placement services and emergency assistance to Kansas City's poor and elderly. Frank, a Gladstone, Mo., resident, has helped to feed more than 200 hungry people five nights a week and also has provided groceries to more than 600 needy families each month. Although he is retiring this year, Peak will continue to volunteer his time to make St. James Place a success.
Monday, September 17 - Diane Garrison
Diane Garrison, a nurse at Olathe Medical Center, has helped many patients battle through disease and, since being diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2003, has used her own battle against cancer as an inspiration to others. In 1998, Diane, along with her husband Paul, moved to Africa as Nazarene missionaries, where Diane worked to educate others about the AIDS epidemic for five years. Since returning to her home in Olathe, Kan., Diane has used her cancer treatment as a backdrop to encouraging other to fight through their own hardships.
Tuesday, September 18 - Dr. Will Adams
Dr. Will Adams retired 17 years ago from a 34-year teaching career, putting aside his passion for teaching political science to college students in favor of teaching ballroom dancing in Kansas CityÂs inner-city schools. As the president of ÂCulture through Ballroom Dance,Â Dr. Adams, who battles through diabetes and bad knees, drives from one public school to the next teaching fifth and sixth graders how to develop confidence, self-esteem and interactive social skills through the discipline of ballroom dancing.
Wednesday, September 19 - Dan Houlahan
Eleven years ago, Dan Houlahan played a part in the creation of Youth Leaders International, a non-profit program designed to teach adolescents leadership and civic responsibility. The Platte City, Mo., resident works with more than 100 members to help unite youth from different backgrounds in 14 countries around the world. In addition to various administrative duties, Dan volunteers two weeks each year to participate in hands-on training for the program.
Thursday, September 20 - Steve Hewitt
Like most of the citizens of Greensburg, Kan., Steve Hewitt lost everything on May 4 when a tornado destroyed the community. However, as the Greensburg City Administrator, Steve has not let himself get discouraged and instead has worked tirelessly to organize the clean up and plan for rebuilding the town. His hard work, dedication to his community and positive, upbeat attitude, has been an inspiration to his fellow residents as well as the hundreds of people who have been involved in the relief effort.
Friday, September 28 - John Lair
John Lair has volunteered his time and talents to the local chapter of the Special Olympics for more than 15 years. Dedicating hundreds of hours each year to helping Special Olympic athletes achieve their goals, John coaches 22 different sports in the New Hope Special Olympics program. He was recently named KansasÂ Volunteer of the Year and will have one athlete Â Jay Horn Â representing Kansas in the 2007 World Special Olympic Games in Shanghai.
Saturday, September 29 - David Miller
After a trip to Peru, David Miller was prompted to sell his business in an effort to help Peruvian children living in poverty. Four years later, the Home of Hope orphanage and the ÂSaving Street ChildrenÂ non-for-profit organization have provided many Peruvian children with an education, food and shelter. Along with raising funds, David, a resident of Liberty, Mo., helped 16 orphans from Peru find homes in Kansas City, Chicago, Washington D.C. and Italy.
Sunday, September 30 - JoAnn Colbert
Since 1989, JoAnn Colbert has been welcoming fans to Kauffman Stadium with her big smile, impossibly optimistic disposition and well-known hugs. One Royals fan in particular who took pleasure in getting a hug from the Kauffman Stadium usher was the late Buck OÂNeil, who would seek out JoAnn and her warm personality before each game that he attended. The Kansas City, Mo., resident, a friend to all she meets, has a love for Kauffman Stadium and the people who fill it that mirrors the love Buck had for our community.