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.
Tuesday, April 8 - Art Stewart
The Royals longest tenured associate, Art will be honored with the organization's top honor as the 2008 Royals Hall of Fame inductee. Since 1969, Art, a Lee's Summit, Mo., resident, has been an integral part of the Royals staff as well as a friendly and well-respected face around Major League Baseball. Art has won numerous baseball and scouting awards during his 54 total years in baseball and has shown nothing but devotion to making the Royals a model franchise.
Wednesday, April 9 - Carolyn Cofield
Carolyn is the director of Rachel's Tea House, a crisis pregnancy counseling and resource center ministering in Kansas City, Kan. In her position, Carolyn houses, cooks, feeds and provides support for preteen and teenage pregnant girls during their pregnancies as well as once they become mothers.
Thursday, April 10 - Patrick Farnan
Patrick is the father of Fallen Soldier SPC. Colby M. Farnan, who was killed in Iraq in 2005. Patrick turned the heartbreak of losing a son to war into helping others by working with A Walk to Remember, raising funds for bronze Battlefield Crosses for other fallen soldiers.
Friday, April 11 - Sterling Farber
Fifteen years ago, Sterling started a softball program in the Blue Springs, Mo., area for children with disabilities. Naming the program The Exceptionals, Sterling has worked to help the free program grow from two teams to 14 teams, reaching out to more than 180 kids.
Saturday, April 12 - Jim Duddy
Jim began his career as a Kansas City firefighter in 1953 and, until this past January when he retired as the department's assistant chief fire marshal, he worked tirelessly as a local hero in the community. The Smithville, Mo., resident devoted several years service to multiple roles and programs within the department.
Sunday, April 13 - James Owens
A 92-year-old Lawrence, Kan., resident, James is the only businessperson to serve the Lawrence community as mayor, school board president and chamber of commerce president, showing his dedication and devotion to serving others.
Tuesday, April 22 - Shannon Milbourn
Moved by a special Super Bowl pregame show featuring a football program for children with special needs, Shannon took action and organized a group of volunteers and inspiring young football players to develop KC's chapter of Champions Football League. Now, in its third season, more than 30 special children participate in weekly football games and have the opportunity to become a "star athlete" thanks to Shannon's commitment.
Wednesday, April 23 - Dandi Mackall
Dandi "Dan" Mackall had a dream of being a batgirl when she was a kid and that dream came close to coming true when Dandi won a batboy essay contest for the 1961 Kansas City A's. However, she was quickly disqualified from the contest because of her gender, a decision that led Dandi, who also wrote A Girl Named Dan, to spend her adult years working with Title IX to help females earn equality in athletics. On Wednesday, Dandi was able to fulfill her wish and served as an honorary "batgirl" during Royals batting practice.
Thursday, April 24 - America Patton
Utilizing the adversity he has experienced in his life, Coach America Patton has become a fantastic role model for the students at Washington High School in Kansas City, Kan. Coach Patton coaches football and track and is the sponsor of "100 Strong Men of Vision," dedicated to encouraging the students to make a positive impact in their school. The Kansas City, Kan., resident also sponsors the Fellowship of Christian Athletes group at the school and works with at-risk students individually who need special attention. Coach Patton is a positive force at Washington High.
Friday, April 25 - Fern Tipton
Fern, who turns 85 this September, has spent the past 17 years dedicating her time and talents to the Raytown Shepherd Center's Meals on Wheels program. The Raytown resident delivers lunches, smiles and hugs to nearly 15 elderly adults in her community each week. Fern also actively volunteers with several other Raytown organizations and causes, making her a well-known and admired woman in her community.
Saturday, April 26 - Elliott Threatt
It's a laugh a minute with Elliott, a local comic who uses his humor to help others in the community. Coming from a family of long-time community activists, Elliott has raised thousands for area causes with his comedy-charity events. His "uncommon generosity" has earned him several community awards including the New House Shelter Humanitarian Award and the Businessman of the Year award by the Black Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City.
Sunday, April 27 - Larry Van Dyke
Larry, along with his wife, Donna, organized the Optimist Athletic Association, promoting youth baseball at Blue Valley Park on 23rd Street. The Independence, Mo., resident was a founder of the league 40 years ago and has coached more than 1,000 children. Throughout the years, he has mentored children involved in the program, maintained the fields, provided concessions, umpired and more.
Monday, May 5 - Cris Medina
As the Executive Director of Guadalupe Centers, Inc., Cris Medina oversees a multi-service community organization that is dedicated to improving the quality of life of Latinos in the Kansas City metro area. Under Cris' guidance, Guadalupe Centers, Inc., has expanded to include seven buildings and employ 82 full- and part-time employees. He is a true leader in the Kansas City Latino community.
Tuesday, May 6 - Fred Majors
Devoted to all things Kansas City, Fred volunteers his time each week to the Alternative Care Hospice - helping with the needs of dying patients - and the WWI Memorial, greeting thousands of visitors to our community. Both volunteer opportunities keep Fred, who has been wheelchair bound since getting severely injured in the Vietnam War, busy as he dedicates more than 40 hours a week to serving his community.
Wednesday, May 7 - Veatrice Henson
Veatrice, who just turned 97 on April 29, does not know the meaning of slowing down! The Grain Valley, Mo., resident has been named a Pillar of the Community (2007) for her selfless and weekly devotion to serving her community. Each week, Veatrice volunteers at the food pantry for the Grain Valley Community Service League, and in her spare time she stays busy making quilts to be auctioned off for the Grain Valley Assistance Fund.
Thursday, May 8 - Ann Jerome
As the Executive Director of the Kansas City Ronald McDonald House Charities, Ann Jerone has helped to provide lodging for ill children and their families during their hospital stays. Her 15 years of devotion to the organization has been full of many accomplishments including a successful capital campaign to build a new local facility that will benefit more than 2,000 families with sick children each year.
Friday, May 9 - Jacob Shafer
Jacob might only be 8 years old, but his passion for giving back is already a big part of his life. The young Lenexa, Kan., resident celebrated his last birthday by throwing a party and donating all his presents to the local Ronald McDonald House. On Labor Day last year, Jacob and his family delivered several toys, games and art supplies to the children in need.
Saturday, May 10 - Richard Wood
Coach Richard Wood has been the head baseball coach at Blue Springs South since the high school opened and is credited with helping the baseball program grow by donating his own time and money. He dedicates his life to not only the sport of baseball, but to mentoring his players and students on the field, in the classroom and in life.
Sunday, May 11 - Kelly Conner-Wilson
Kelly was first diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 24 and, after four rounds of chemotherapy and 36 radiation treatments, thought her battle was over. At the age of 31, the cancer returned and Kelly, a new mom at that time, started the fight against breast cancer all over again. Now, Kelly shows no sign of cancer and, as an active, healthy member of her community, represents all the breast cancer survivors who display the courage necessary to fight the disease.
Tuesday, May 13 - Don Knopke
As a founding member of the Boys Hope Girls Hope program in Kansas City, Don has helped numerous academically capable children in need meet their full potential by providing a value-centered, family-like home and first-class education. The Leawood, Kan., resident has devoted countless hours and significant financial support to help give many local children better opportunities in life.
Wednesday, May 14 - Clausie Smith
For the past 28 years, Clausie has built a legacy of selfless service to the Bonner Springs, Kan., community. Clausie, who served as a city council member for eight years and Bonner Springs' mayor for the past five, has an endless list of volunteer work with several organizations including The United Way, Mid-America Regional Council, Vaughn-Trent Community Service Agency, Chamber of Commerce and Kiwanis. He is also well known for his 25 years of work as the high school football statistician and master of ceremonies for the city band concerts.
Thursday, May 15 - Bob Loyd
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kansas City was founded in 1964 with Bob Loyd stepping in as the first Big Brother. It's been 44 years now and Bob, an Overland Park, Kan., resident, is still an active volunteer with the program and an instrumental part of its tremendous growth in Kansas City.
Tuesday, May 27 - Myrl Wear
Myrl has been serving the youth of his community for years, working as a Cubmaster before becoming the Scoutmaster of Troop 93 in 1996. Still active in the Scoutmaster role, the Shawnee, Kan., resident has helped more than 100 area boys attain the rank of Eagle Scout, a testament to the commitment Mryl has to the program and community.
Wednesday, May 28 - Alice Conner
Alice has been the Food Kitchen Coordinator for Our Lady of Unity Parish in Kansas City, Kan., for more than 26 years. In that time, the Kansas City, Kan., resident has cooked and helped serve more than 142,000 lunches at St. Mary's Food Kitchen. Since Alice has been dedicating time to this position, the Kitchen has served more than 3.6 million meals to members of the community.
Thursday, May 29 - Cathy Rooks
Cathy is a teacher at Maranatha Academy in Shawnee, Kan., who has especially touched the lives of a student and her family. The second grade teacher has worked tirelessly to help second-grader Katie battle through her ADHD and OCD issues as well as help her parents to make Katie's transition from school to home smooth. The extra work with Katie is just part of the job for Mrs. Rooks, who is known for creating positive learning environments for her students.
Friday, May 30 - Bill Cook
For 39 years, Bill has worked with underprivileged kids in his community to help provide better opportunities. The Independence, Mo., resident has spent time mentoring kids through the United Way Agency, YMCA, the Salvation Army and Northeast Kansas City Community. Just recently retiring, Bill ran the Whatsoever Community Center for seniors for 25 years.
Saturday, May 31 - Barb Gillespie
Barb is approaching her final year as a Catholic school teacher for inner city seventh and eighth graders in Omaha, Neb. The Omaha resident and grandma of four will retire after 30 years of dedicating her time and talents to the many students she has had throughout the years, never asking for thanks or boasting of her accomplishments.
Sunday, June 1 - Father of the Year Winner - Greg Smith
SundayÂ's Buck O'Neil Legacy Seat recipient is Greg Smith, the winner of the Royals annual Father of the Year Essay Contest. Greg, who will also throw out a ceremonial first pitch, will find out about the honor during the Royals pre-game ceremony on Sunday, June 1. Greg is the father of Codie Smith, a seventh-grader at Westridge Middle School in Overland Park, Kan., and the father of Kelsey Smith, who was abducted and murdered in June 2007. Though Greg admits he and his family will never get over losing Kelsey, and finds healing is a lifelong, day-by-day process, he can see how it has made his family stronger. Greg and his wife of 21 years, Missey, have five children. The Father of the Year Essay Contest was created by the National Center for Fathering in 1992 to raise awareness about the importance of fathering.
Tuesday, June 10 - Louis Hansen
With a personality that many admire, Louis worked for the Kansas City Fire Department from 1946 until retiring in December 1987, spending the final 25 years of his career as battalion chief and deputy chief. In those 41 years, Louis, now a resident of Lake Tapawingo, Mo., recorded just one sick day, a testament to the dedication and devotion he had for his job and Kansas City!
Wednesday, June 11 - Mark Matney
Mark has been a teacher and coach at Liberty High School for 35 years, touching many lives along the way. To his students, the Liberty, Mo., resident is a quiet hero who goes above and beyond to create a positive and exciting learning environment. Former students often go out of their way to remember and thank Mr. Matney for all his hard work and influence in their lives.
Thursday, June 12 - Lowell Harmon
At least once a month since 1993, Lowell has driven a van of children with orthopedic problems and their parents to Shriner's Hospital in St. Louis, waking up in the early morning hours and returning once everyone's appointments are over. He is also coordinator for the burn clinic at the Shriner's Burn Unit, meeting and transporting medical personnel who travel to Kansas City to treat local patients. In addition, the Kansas City, Mo., resident has also found time to pick up trash along a two-mile stretch of road for 40 years!
Friday, June 20 - Fr. Pat Tobin
For more than 50 years, Father Pat Tobin, a retired priest at St. Therese Parish in Kansas City, Mo., has worked tirelessly to promote charity programs in the Kansas City area. He was a founder of Harvesters - the Community Food Network, inducted into the Harvesters' Circle of Hope Hall of Fame in 2007, named "Volunteer of the Year" by the Missouri Department of Corrections, gives spirited talks on Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity around the world and is known throughout Kansas City as the "Kind, Necessary and True" priest.
Saturday, June 21 - Steve Wells
Steve, a volunteer firefighter and city employee, spearheaded a volunteer project to obtain and renovate a closed movie theater in his community of Russell, Kan. Battling cancer for the past five years, Steve hasn't slowed down and continues to be active with the arts council and numerous other organizations all in an effort to keep Russell thriving as a community.
Sunday, June 22 - Robert Harper
Coach Harper has been teaching and coaching at Manhattan (Kan.) High School for more than 15 years. The softball coach and Manhattan resident is known for taking the lessons on the baseball diamond one step further by teaching to not only be better well-rounded players, but better human beings. He pushes his players to see the bigger picture in order to be positive contributors to their communities.
Monday, June 23 - Elliott Hollub
As a Charter Royals Lancer in 1969, Elliott has worked hard to merge the Royals and the Kansas City community. Serving as Lancer president in 1975, the Leawood, Kan., resident has passed on his love of baseball to so many generations and has been loyal to the sport that promotes teamwork and dedication.
Tuesday, June 24 - Andrew Meyer
Currently home for a brief vacation, Andrew has been serving in the U.S. Peace Corps in Ukraine for a year. The Olathe, Kan., native is in the area of youth development and works to teach the young Ukrainians in his area to make the right decisions in life and to prepare for a successful life after school. An avid Royals fan, he also taught them to play baseball!
Wednesday, June 25 - Mara Lee Adams
Mara Lee has a selfless devotion to the Girl Scout and Boy Scout organizations in the community. The Kansas City, Mo., resident has volunteered at every level of both organizations, setting a prime example for the scouts she helps to mentor. She is often found dedicating time at the council level, scout camps, troop meetings and cookie and magazine sales - even lending a hand for the Cub Scouts despite that her own two scouts have moved on to the next level.
Friday, June 27 - Mary James
A Harrisonville, Mo., resident, Mary has an extensive laundry list of organizations she is an active volunteer with including Harrisonville Park Board, Cass Medical Center Foundation, Congressional Award Council of Missouri, Harrisonville Athletic Booster Club, Orient Cemetery Board, American Cancer Society, the 17th Judicial Circuit CASA as well as the Cass County Chapter of the American Heart Association several more organizations.
Saturday, June 28 - Major Bud Clark
Major Bud Clark earned the Distinguished Flying Cross in Combat award as a decorated helicopter fighter pilot in Vietnam. Major Clark spent 23 years in active duty after seven years in the National Guard. Along with Vietnam, the Kansas City, Mo., native served in Korea, Germany and Panama. These days, Major Clark, who calls Gardner, Kan., home, works with veterans of all wars in their rehabilitation from post-traumatic stress disorder, encouraging them to never give up on life no matter what they have experienced.
Sunday, June 29 - Kevin Beck
For more than 20 years, Kevin has worked for the Kansas City (Mo.) Fire Department. For five of those years, the Kansas City, Mo., resident worked with the Drug Abatement Response Team to shut down drug houses. In 2002, after a heroic act on the job, he received the Exceptional Duty Award from the department, the Distinguished Service Award from former Kansas City mayor, Kay Barnes, as well as the Heart Saver Award from the Red Cross.
Tuesday, July 8 - Colonel Roger Donlon
A Green Beret Captain in Vietnam, Colonel Donlon was the first Congressional Medal of Honor recipient of the Vietnam War. The Leavenworth, Kan., resident, was in action July 6, 1964, for the Battle of Nam Dong. He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor - which is the highest medal awarded for valor and heroism during combat - on Dec. 5, 1964, from President Lyndon B. Johnson. Recently, Colonel Donlon wrote the book Beyond Nam Dong, an excellent account of teamwork, patriotism and overcoming impossible odds in the Vietnam War.
Wednesday, July 9 - Amanda Voss
A recent high school graduate, Amanda Voss showed dedication to her education by recording 13 years of perfect attendance and represents the more than 5,100 students the Royals are honoring during Perfect Attendance Days at Kauffman Stadium this week. The Lee's Summit, Mo., native attended Greenwood and Woodland Elementary Schools, Pleasant Lea Middle School and Lee's Summit High School without missing a single day. The 18-year-old, who attended Perfect Attendance Days at Kauffman Stadium while in grade school, plans to continue her education by attending Longview Community College in the fall.
Thursday, July 10 - Virgil Horn
Virgil Horn was an instrumental "cornerstone" during the flood that hit Coffeyville in July of 2007. The mayor of the of the Kansas community worked hard to address citizen's emotional needs and help coordinate agencies to attend to their physical needs, all while dealing with the devastation the flood left on his own life. A father of eight and grandfather of 10, Virgil is also the pastor at Sardis First Baptist Church and the director of Coffeyville's Alternative Learning Center, where he works to be a role model for the youth in his community.
Friday, July 11 - Steve Chellgren
Many think Steve Chellgren should receive the award for "The Nicest Guy in Town," and his track record of helping others backs that statement up! Steve goes beyond just donating financially to the Community of the Good Shepherd, a community that provides quality supported living for individuals with developmental disabilities. Among other things, the Linwood, Kan., resident donates his time by bringing residents of the community - including his brother-in-law - to Kauffman Stadium to watch the Friday fireworks shows.
Saturday, July 12 - Gloria Henry
After 29 years as the debate coach at Ruskin High School, Gloria Henry is retiring, ending what many of her former students believe to be a heroic career that broke a racial barrier. The Peculiar, Mo., resident took the role of educator and role model seriously when she became the first area debate coach to bring African-American students to suburban debate tournaments in the early 1980s. Despite backlash from other debate coaches, Gloria stood firm and helped break down a barrier in our community.
Sunday, July 13 - Arlene Blake
Arlene Blake goes above and beyond when it comes to honoring our troops overseas. The Lee's Summit, Mo., grandma has been organizing drives, collecting items, sending care packages and baking treats for the men and women - some that she knows and many that she does not - who are serving our country.
Monday, July 21 - David Battey
Always dedicated to the community while in high school, David Battey took his passion for helping others one step further when he founded the Youth Volunteer Corps of America in 1987 after graduating from college. The organization strives to create and increase volunteer opportunities for America's youth. The Fairway, Kan., resident established the organization as a local venture and since then has expanded it to span the country and develop into a national endeavor.
Tuesday, July 22 - Poke Stover
Poke Stover, an area director of the Special Olympics Kansas chapter, has been involved with Special Olympics since its inception 40 years ago. The Lawrence, Kan., resident has coached hundreds of Special Olympic athletes and provided several competition opportunities for the athletes in the region. Earlier today, Poke, along with other area Special Olympics volunteers and athletes, joined the Royals for the annual Special Olympics clinic on the field at Kauffman Stadium.
Wednesday, July 23 - Liz Arnold
Liz Arnold has been dedicating her time, energy and heart to The Dream Factory for more than 15 years. The Mission, Kan., resident has served on the board of directors and the advisory board for the local chapter of The Dream Factory, which strives to grant the dreams of children diagnosed with critical or chronic illnesses. Liz, also a proud wife, mother and grandmother, has always been on hand to do whatever it takes to make a dream come true for a Dream Factory child.
Thursday, July 24 - Gail Dicus
Gail Dicus, an Overland Park, Kan., resident, represents the American Heart Association as a survivor of heart disease. In 2000, a virus attached Gail's heart, leaving it at only half its normal capacity. After five long years, she received a heart transplant as well as a renewed sense of purpose and a shift in priorities. Since then, Gail donates her time as a volunteer with many organizations that are close to her heart, including the American Heart Association's Go Red For Women movement. Today, as we host Girls' Night Out to benefit the American Heart Association, we recognize Gail and all those who fight heart disease by joining the Go Red For Women movement.
Friday, July 25 - Major Anthony Ell
As part of the National Baseball Hall of Fame induction weekend in Cooperstown, N.Y., Buck O'Neil will be remembered with the Buck O'Neil Lifetime Achievement Award and the unveiling of a new statue. The Buck O'Neil Lifetime Achievement Award, which will be accepted Sunday by Hall of Famer Joe Morgan on behalf of Buck, will honor an individual whose extraordinary efforts enhanced baseball's positive impact on society, has broadened the game's appeal, and whose character, integrity and dignity are comparable to the qualities exhibited by O'Neil. In honor of Buck's special weekend, the Royals welcome Major Anthony Ell, a longtime volunteer of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. Major Ell, a veteran of the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department, has been instrumental in encouraging other police officers to serve as volunteers for the museum.
Saturday, July 26 - Mark Bryant
As part of the National Baseball Hall of Fame induction weekend in Cooperstown, N.Y., Buck O'Neil will be remembered with the Buck O'Neil Lifetime Achievement Award and the unveiling of a new statue. The Buck O'Neil Lifetime Achievement Award, which will be accepted Sunday by Hall of Famer Joe Morgan on behalf of Buck, will honor an individual whose extraordinary efforts enhanced baseball's positive impact on society, has broadened the game's appeal, and whose character, integrity and dignity are comparable to the qualities exhibited by O'Neil. In honor of Buck's special weekend, the Royals welcome Mark Bryant, the immediate past president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum Board of Directors. Bryant now chairs the development committee, raising funds for the Buck O'Neil Education and Research Center.
Sunday, July 27 - Ray Van Eman
As part of the National Baseball Hall of Fame induction weekend in Cooperstown, N.Y., Buck O'Neil will be remembered with the Buck O'Neil Lifetime Achievement Award and the unveiling of a new statue. The Buck O'Neil Lifetime Achievement Award, which will be accepted Sunday by Hall of Famer Joe Morgan on behalf of Buck, will honor an individual whose extraordinary efforts enhanced baseball's positive impact on society, has broadened the game's appeal, and whose character, integrity and dignity are comparable to the qualities exhibited by O'Neil. In honor of Buck's special weekend, the Royals welcome Ray Van Eman, who has been volunteering with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum for 10 years. The 60-year-old Kansas City native also finds time to volunteer with several other local organizations, including Willie Wilson Baseball and the Kansas City Athletics upcoming reunion.
Friday, August 1 - Patti Lewis
Patti Lewis is the founder and director of Alexandra's House in Kansas City, a non-profit perinatel hospice that reaches out to families who have an anticipated infant loss or babies that are not expected to live long after birth. The Kansas City, Mo., resident gave up a career as a cardiology nurse to provide this resource for area families, helping to care for the weakest among us with the utmost of compassion and dignity.
Saturday, August 2 - Tom Riley
After serving as an elementary school principal for more than 30 years, Tom Riley did not use retirement as an excuse to put the textbooks down. The Independence, Mo., resident has spent more than 20,000 hours of his retirement years transcribing math textbooks to brail, completing 15,000 math pages to help students who are visually impaired study mathematics.
Sunday, August 3 - Patricia Shannon
At the age of 82, Patricia Shannon keeps her daily schedule packed as a volunteer for six different organizations. The humble mother of eight, who calls Lenexa, Kan., home, visits St. Joseph's hospital on Mondays, cleans Holy Trinity Catholic Church on Tuesdays, spends Wednesdays at The Children's Place in Brookside, visits visually handicapped children at Children's Therapeutic Learning Center on Thursdays, stops by Turnstyles Thrift Store on Fridays and volunteers at Catholic Charities and Holy Trinity church again to round out the week.
Monday, August 4 - Gina Casey and Alice Fracasso
Gina Casey and Alice Fracasso, sisters from Northeast Oklahoma, played for the Riverside Townies in Rhode Island from 1944 to 1954 and have been active associate members of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League for 17 years and 21 years, respectively. Gina, once a second baseman, and Alice, a former catcher, were part of a group of Townies teammates that was scouted to attend a two-week tryout. Unfortunately, neither of them made the cut, but -- inspired by the new opportunity presented for women -- remained active with the AAGPBL and stive to send an encouraging message to young American girls. Along with raising funds for the association, the two strive to keep the story of women playing baseball alive.
Tuesday, August 5 - Jim Schumm
Jim Schumm has been donating blood since 1974. In that time, the Overland Park, Kan., resident has donated 108 pints to our community, In 2007, Schumm participated in a Kansas City Star series that followed a simple blood donation all the way to the recipient, which, in this case, happened to be infant Emaline Schwagerman. Jim's blood helped to save Emaline's life as well as informed the community about the benefits of blood donation. This week, the Royals are partnering with the Community Blood Centers for the 16th Annual Royals Blood Drive.
Wednesday, August 6 - Sylvan Siegler
Sylvan Siegler has been an active volunteer in the Kansas City Jewish community for years. Born in Germany in 1925, the Kansas City, Mo., resident immigrated to the United States prior to WWII and enlisted in the army, fighting in the Battle of the Bulge. Now a lawyer and active volunteer in several Kansas City organizations, Sylvan has been the president of Beth Shalom Synagogue and member of its Board of Directors for more than 20 years. In 2001, he was awarded the Greater Kansas City Community Foundations' Donald H. Chisholm Award for outstanding contributions to the civic and charitable life of Kansas City.
Friday, August 8 - Ellen Kisker
Ellen Kisker has worked with non-traditional college students for 22 years at Missouri Western State University, encouraging older or returning students to continue to pursue their college degrees. Often working with single mothers, returning veterans and displaced workers, the St. Joseph, Mo., resident has earned the University Presidential Citation twice, numerous community awards and, in 2007, was named National Non-Traditional Student Advisor of the Year. Ellen's commitment to education has opened doors for many students who might not otherwise return for their degree.
Saturday, August 9 - Wendell Fetters
Once a captive in a German POW camp while serving in WWII, Wendell Fetters has several stories to share describing his service to our nation. Fetters, a Leawood, Kan., resident, shares those stories in schools in our community, encouraging kids to understand our country's past. In addition, Fetters also shares stories about his days playing baseball in the late 1940s when his Iowa team faced community, encouraging kids to understand our country's past. In addition, Fetters also shares stories about his days playing baseball in the late 1940s when his Iowa team faced the Kansas City Monarchs and he played against Satchel Paige, Ernie Banks and our very own, Buck O'Neil.
Sunday, August 10 - Bonnie Swade
Drawing on personal tragedy, Bonnie Swade started Suicide Awareness Survivor Support Missouri and Kansas, a non-profit support group for those affected by a suicide. Along with offering support, the group also organizes a walk each year to raise funds for the education, awareness and grief support groups in the Kansas City community. For more thank 30 years, Bonnie, an Overland Park, Kan., resident, has facilitated suicide prevention groups and suicide survivors support groups, also spending time visiting the Lansing State Prison to facilitate STOP Violence groups.
Friday, August 22 - Delores Koeppen
For 35 years Delores Koeppen was an elementary school teacher, but, once retiring in 1996, the Overland Park, Kan., resident jumped into volunteer work with two feet. On a regular basis, Delores assembles and delivers "Cancer Answer" bags for newly diagnosed cancer patients, knits stocking caps for Salvation Army and Uplift - a homeless outreach organization, knits baby blankets for Saint Luke's Hospital and Research Medical Center for premature babies, sews sheets for Cancer Action and helps serve the hungry at St. Mary's food kitchen.
Saturday, August 23 - Diane Lee
After 41 years as a social worker, Diane Lee is retiring from the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City. The Shawnee Mission, Kan., resident began working at the hospital out of college in 1967 and was named director in 1992. She manages 23 social workers who help thousands of patients and families manage medical issues and connect them with resources. In 2007, her department followed nearly 17,000 patients.
Sunday, August 24 - Shane Reif and Sarah Bricker
Siblings Shane Reif and Sarah Reif-Bricker, together with their families, founded Kans for Kids - an organization that helps to cover the medical expenses for children diagnosed with cancer. The Hoisington, Kan., natives, who launched the organization in 1994 when Sarah was 11 years old and Shane was 8 years old, have helped to raise more than $250,000 by recycling aluminum cans as well as from memorials, fundraisers and cash donations.
Monday, August 25 - Alan Cunningham
As a math teacher at Silver Lake High School for 25 years and head baseball coach for the past 18 years, Alan Cunningham has gone above and beyond to be an influential presence in the lives of his students. The Topeka, Kan., resident is known for creating a fun, but knowledgeable atmosphere in both the classroom and on the field. Under his leadership, the Silver Lake Eagles have traveled to state competitions and won four state titles, including the 2008 Kansas Class 3A State Championship. This summer, the Kansas Coaches Association named Cunningham the Kansas Baseball Coach of the Year.
Tuesday, August 26 - Rev. Eric D. Williams
Reverend Eric D. Williams has served as a pastor of the Calvary Temple Baptist Church since 1988, a position he uses to reach outside his church to help our community. Rev. Williams received the prestigious Marion Kramer Ribbon of Hope Award recognizing his commitment and numerous accomplishments in the HIV/AIDS community. The Royals and the National Fathering Center named the Kansas City, Mo., resident Father of the Year in 1999 and the list of community efforts he is involved with include the Mayors' Minority Health Disparities Taskforce and the Governor's Taskforce on AIDS in the African American Community.
Wednesday, August 27 - Beverly Schuepbach
Beverly Schuepbach, who just celebrated 30 years as a registered nurse at Children's Mercy Hospital, is a dedicated volunteer at the Ronald McDonald Family Room at Children's Mercy as well as at the Lenexa Police Department. The Lenexa, Kan., resident was honored by the City of Lenexa as its "Volunteer of the Year" in 2001 and has been honored with the Presidential Volunteer Service Award for her loyal service to her community.
Tuesday, September 2 - Lauren Browning
Lauren Browning is not your ordinary 10-year-old. The Overland Park, Kan., fifth grader spent her summer vacation striving to make a difference in the lives of children with cancer. Lauren started a "Toy Box" rotation for Children's Mercy Oncology unit and, for her birthday on Sept. 13, she is coordinating a group to participate in Kansas City's "Light The Night" walk, which raises funds and awareness for blood-related cancers. Lauren, who was recently crowned the 2008-2009 Miss Kansas Preteen, also pioneered "Snow Cones for Polar Bears" this past summer, selling snow cones to benefit the World Wild Life Federation.
Thursday, September 4 - Vince Ellis
This past summer, Vince Ellis retired after 36 years of dedicated service to the Missouri State Highway Patrol. The Lee's Summit, Mo., native was the driving force behind the forming of the Troop A Honor Guard and, as an active member of the patrol, Vince attended the National Traffic Management Institute in Warrensburg, Mo., and the FBI National Academy. Along with honoring Vince today, the Royals are saluting all uniformed heroes, including police, fire and emergency personnel as well as members of the military during the month of September.
Friday, September 5 - Manute Bol
Manute Bol is known for being one of the tallest players ever in the NBA. Off the court, he's known for his extensive charity work back in his native country, Sudan. Manute, who played in the NBA from 1985-1994, has contributed an estimated $3.5 million to aid southern Sudanese refugees and is credited with drawing international attention to the plight of the Sudanese refugees. Manute, who calls Olathe, Kan., home these days, is actively involved in Sudan Sunrise, a non-for-profit, non-denominational organization that helps facilitate the efforts of the Southern Sudanese in South Sudan in education, health, community development and church planting. With plans to return to Sudan later this month, Manute is heading an effort to build a school in his home village in Sudan. The Manute Bol School Project aims to raise nearly $120,000 for the facility, which will give more than 200 youth a place to learn.
Saturday, September 6 - Everardo Suarez
Everardo Suarez, Consul of Mexico in Kansas City, works tirelessly as an advocate for the Mexican community in Kansas City. Serving in his current role since 2002, Mr. Suarez has made education a top priority, organizing educational seminars for adults, health fairs and financial fairs in the community. In addition, he has encouraged the opening of seven community learning centers in the area as well as coordinated aid and relief efforts for people affected by natural disasters in Mexico. We honor Mr. Suarez and Kansas City's entire Hispanic community tonight as the Royals host the second annual Viva Los Royals celebration at Kauffman Stadium as part of Hispanic Heritage Night.
Sunday, September 7 - Nancy Blue
To many, Nancy Blue is known as "Grandma Blue" or "Auntie Blue" because of her caring nature and habit of "adopting" kids all over the United States. After marrying a Native American, Nancy became one of the most active members of the Native American community in Kansas City. The Kansas City, Mo., resident is a member of the Board of Directors for the Heart of America Indian Center and helps to organize the Indian Center Youth Camp each year.
Monday, September 15 - Anne Hull
Anne Hull, a former Special Education teacher and a parent of two sons who have developmental disabilities, founded Heartstrings Community Foundation in 1999. The Overland Park, Kan., resident launched the organization in order to offer adults with developmental disabilities a chance to live meaningful, productive and independent lives beyond their school life by being placed in jobs with the community.
Tuesday, September 16 - Scott Clayton
When he is not working full time at an independent living center, Scott Clayton is picking up a hammer as the president of Hearts & Hammers, a volunteer organization that provides free home repairs for people who are physically or financially unable to do the work themselves. The Webb City, Mo., resident, who has been leading the volunteer group for the past five years, visits applicants and organizes repairs, focusing on the elderly or single-parent households in his neighboring communities.
Wednesday, September 17 - Brian Williams
Brian Williams, along with his wife, Nicci, has a personal appreciation for March of Dimes that fuels his dedication to the foundation. Brian, whose 14-month-old daughter, Savanna, was born three months premature and spent 72 days at St. Luke's hospital, is now a proud spokesperson and advocate for March of Dimes, giving back to the support staff that helped his family learn about prematurity. The Kansas City, Mo., native, who is an executive producer for 610 Sports radio, started Savanna's Soldiers to help raise awareness for March of Dimes and, along with participating and organizing several fundraisers, spends as much time as possible at St. Luke's N.I.C.U., visiting with parents and providing support and hope.
Thursday, September 18 - Jesse Solis
Jesse Solis has been a community activist for his hometown of Emporia, Kan., for many years. The 68-year-old Kansan has many accomplishments on his resume including, most recently, earning the 2008 Martin Luther King Jr. Outstanding Citizen Award for his contributions as a civic leader who strives for unity. In 2005, Jesse created a World War II Memorial for 71 Hispanic veterans of Lyon County, Kan., helping to welcome back the 14 surviving veterans for a special reunion and presentation.
Friday, September 19 - Sister Margaret Marie Mitchell
This past year, Sister Margaret Marie Mitchell was presented the Fine Arts Distinguished Achievement Award for her years of dedication and commitment to the students at Bishop Ward High School in Kansas City, Kan. Sister Margaret Marie taught drama and directed productions at Bishop Ward from 1966-1981, sharing her love of theatre while also teaching important life skills. The impact she left on her former students was recognized when, thanks to her former students, family and HOK Sport, she was honored with a trip to New York City this summer for a Broadway show and a Royals-Yankees baseball game.
Saturday, September 20 - Joe Webster
Nine years ago, Joe Webster rallied a few friends and fellow Kansas City sports fans to form the "Go Long Scholarship Foundation," in an effort to help area youth further their education. The eight men mow lawns and do "handy man" type work for area elderly who are not able to do the work themselves. They combine their own money, along with any donations they receive for their labor, to provide scholarships for local graduates entering college.
Sunday, September 21 - Bob Stamps
A big smile and a friendly attitude are all part of the job description for Bob Stamps, an usher supervisor at Kauffman Stadium. The dedicated employee, who has never missed a Royals Opening Day, has been in his current role since 1979, but started working for the Royals as an usher at Municipal Stadium for one month prior to coming to Kauffman. He is a retired school teacher and basketball coach who still finds time to substitute teach when he isn't at the ballpark, greeting fans, lending a helping hand and cheering on his Royals!