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.2015 Nominations
Monday, April 6 – Dean Taylor
Dean Taylor retired from his full-time position as Royals Vice President of Baseball Operations and Assistant General Manager after a 39-year career in Major League Baseball. Dean was an integral part the 2014 American League Championship season. He worked in the Royals front office twice in his career along with stints at the MLB Commissioners office in New York, Milwaukee Brewers, Los Angeles Dodgers and Cincinnati Reds. Dean is joined today by his wife, Susan, and family. Together they have worked in the greater Kansas City community on behalf of several charitable endeavors.
Dean will continue to serve the Royals in 2015 as a consultant.
Wednesday, April 8 – Evelyn Craig
For 12 years, Evelyn Craig has been the president and CEO of reStart, Inc., Kansas City's only homeless agency that serves a variety of people through multiple programs. Throughout her time there, Evie has secured funding for permanent housing, dramatically increased their budget, and received contracts from the Veterans' Adminstration to house homeless veterans.
Also serving on the Jackson County Mental Health Commission and the Executive Committee of the Greater Kansas City Regional Task Force on Homelessness, she and reStart has been recognized with numerous awards.
Thursday, April 9 – Russell Brown
In 2010, while part of the pastoral staff of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, Russell Brown helped establish the Celebrate Recovery program, a faith based system of recovery for those who suffer from addictions to alcohol, drugs, and other substances. Now successful for over six years, the program now helps more than 100 people a week.
Russell now serves as the Senior Pastor at the Heritage United Methodist Church in Overland Park.
Friday, April 17 – Nate Estrella and Tim Saylor
As part of Organ Donation Awareness Night, tonight we salute Tim Saylor, from Columbia, Missouri and Nate Estrella, from Gardner, Kansas. Although they had never met before, Tim donated his kidney to save Nate's life on February 17 at The University of Kansas Hospital Center for Transplantation. Nate had been on dialysis waiting for a donor for more than three and a half years. Today, both are recovering well and enjoying life with their families.
There are currently 2,300 people in Missouri and Kansas on the organ waiting list. Learn about organ donation and how you can become a donor by visiting KUmed.com/transplant.
Saturday, April 18 – Karen Miller
Karen Miller serves as the Director of Morning Glory Ministries at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. The program is designed to provide meals six days a week and emergency assistance four days a week. Last year, they served over 60,000 meals and assisted 8,000 emergency care needs to those who needed it.
Karen was chosen for the seat today for the impact she has on others lives as she upholds the personal dignity of everyone she works with.
Sunday, April 19 – Parker Ost
When Parker Ost's younger brother Andrew was bitten on the foot by a copperhead snake, Parker immediately went to action. As his boy scout troop's newly elected Senior Patrol Leader, he knew precisely what to do and what not to do in this medical emergency.
By urging his brother to stay calm, keeping his foot below his heart to prevent the spread of venom, and killing the snake for proper identification and treatment, Parker was able to save Andrew's life.
Monday, April 20 – Dan Erickson
Dr. Dan Erickson left a steady career to found People Matter Ministries, an organization that inspires and equips people to rise above their conditions, find meaning and purpose, and give back to others. For over ten years, the organization has served single moms, people living in poverty, and even organized and delivered supplies and supports to victims of the tornado in Joplin.
Together Dan and Cathy have authored three books and travel all over the nation encouraging others to live impactful lives.
Tuesday, April 21 – Laura Pyer
Laura Pyer has been a volunteer for Wayside Waifs for over ten years. Spending countless hours and energy with the shelter's long term dogs, Laura works with them, writes their bios, and creates videos to help get the dogs who are older, larger, and have special restrictions a forever home.
Recently, Laura and her husband moved back to Iowa but she has continued to do her volunteer work remotely, helping tell the dog's stories.
Wednesday, April 22 – Philicia McKee
Since 2005, Philicia McKee has been the Executive Director of Keep America Beautiful in Topeka and Shawnee County. The grassroots, non-profit organization strives to promote litter reduction, recycling, and beautification through education, business partnerships, and community involvement.
Philicia's past work and leadership has earned the local organization national attention and over 60 national awards. Today, on Earth Day, she and Keep America Beautiful encourage all of the fans at The Kto recycle their used materials here and at home.
Thursday, April 30 – Brian Studdard
Through their catering company, All Star Catering, Brian Studdard and his family donate their services to numerous events every year to great organizations such as City Union Mission, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, and countless schools and PTO's. Constantly active within their community, he and his family have also helped deliver toys with Toys for Tots, build homes with Habitat for Humanity, and adopt families for Christmas.
Brian also serves as the Executive Director for the Muscular Dystrophy Association and his family participates in many MDA events throughout the year.
Friday, May 1 – Tom Valverde
Helping the Kansas City community for almost thirty years, Tom Valverde has served on numerous boards and worked with countless organizations. His volunteer work has covered everything from raising funds to helping homeless students in Kansas City, Kansas to raising awareness about health concerns including epilepsy, AIDS and other health concerns.
Knowing the importance of education, Tom has also created scholarship funds and reading programs for a variety of people. Through his countless efforts, Tom is making the Kansas City area a better place for everyone.
Saturday, May 2 – Tim Kristl
Tim Kristl, principal at MKL Law Firm, served as a captain in the United States Army Jag Corps from 1969-1972. A pillar of the Kansas City community, Tim has served on several boards including Kansas City Missouri Boards for Municipal Revenue, Charter Review, and the National World War I Museum.
Sunday, May 3 – Molly James
Since April 1 of 2014, Girl Scout Molly James has given seventy-six hours of service to her community and says yes to every project that she is given the opportunity to work on. Last year, she helped fill Backpacks for Hunger, made no-sew blankets for Project Linus and the Johnson County Christmas Bureau, and prepared sack lunches for a recover group.
As a third grader, Molly is already thinking of her next project and toward earning her Gold Award.
Tuesday, May 5 – Yvonne Berard
Yvonne Berard has touched the lives of many Kansas Citians throughout her forty-year nursing career, both clinically and as a National Nurse Coordinator for Teva Pharmaceuticals Shared Solutions. In her spare time, Yvonne volunteers for Angel Care and Mathew's Ministry, helping provide assistance to special needs children.
Known for her commitment to her patients, Yvonne is known for her enthusiasm to connect with people of all ages and backgrounds.
Wednesday, May 6 – Jay Preston
In 2003, Jay Preston left his job to launch a church and non-profit organization in Paola, Kansas called My Father's House Community Services. Opening their first transitional housing project for those who are homeless in Linn and Miami counties in 2006, they have since expanded services to four additional rural counties.
Now, the lifelong Kansas resident continues to serve as the President and CEO of the non-profit organization as well as the Pastor of Grace Revolution Church of the Nazarene in Paola.
Thursday, May 7 – Hugh O'Donnell
A member of the Board of Directors of First Call Alcohol-Drug Prevention and Recovery for ten years, Hugh O'Donnell has most recently served as the Board Chair. The mission of First Call is to reduce the impact of alcohol, drugs, and addiction by providing quality resources to individuals, families, and communities.
Also a member of the Missouri Bar Intervention Committee, Hugh helps other lawyers who are struggling with their own substance abuse issues.
Friday, May 15 – Vicki Denton
Last July, Allan Denton suffered a stroke in his living room. Thankfully, his wife, Vicki Denton knew the warning signs of a stroke and immediately called 911. Within minutes Allan received medical care and was rushed to The University of Kansas Hospital to have a clot removed from his brain. Today, Allan is recovering well and thankful for Vicki's knowledge and swift action.
Saturday, May 16 – Leola Brown
Leola Brown Montgomery is the widow of Reverend Oliver Brown, the named plaintiff in the landmark and unanimous United States Supreme Court Decision known as Brown v. Board of Education. That case, decided 61 years ago tomorrow, directed that American public schools be integrated. Tonight, the Royals honor Leola, her husband, their family, and all others who worked tirelessly to enable all children to be educated together in the same schools.
Sunday, May 17 – Dave Goodwin
After hearing Buck O'Neil speak at an area church, Dave Goodwin started volunteering at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. Now involved for almost twenty years, Dave helps with the annual Buck O'Neil Golf Tournament, Buck's Birthday Bash, The Hall of Game Awards Dinner, and many other events. In addition to helping with the museum, he also volunteers with the ALS Association Mid-America Chapter, Folly Theater, and Jazzoo at the Kansas City Zoo.
Tuesday, May 19 – Mark Gash
For ten years, Mark Gash chaired the Olathe's Persons with Disabilities Advisory Board. An educational resource and advocate for the disabled, it raises awareness and works to make buildings world-class accessible. Under Mark's leadership, Olathe now ranks in the top 10 best disabled and top 3 best deaf communities nationally, and he was personally the recipient of the Olathe Mayor's Cathedral Builder Award for Excellence in Volunteer Service.
Wednesday, May 20 – Geneva Price
It was 1960 and Geneva Price was 30 years old and young mother to 2 childrenâ when she heard the words "you have breast cancer." The treatment and survival rate for breast cancer was radically different 55 years ago, but that did not stop her. As a regular attendee at Susan G. Komen's pink promise brunch and race for the cure â Geneva knows that being part of a community is critical to fighting this disease and she is now considered one of the matriarchs of the Komen Kansas City breast cancer community. Her motto is life is messy, but you have to live in the moment.
Friday, May 22 – Jessica Emig
In 2009, Jessica Emig started with KVC Kansas in Johnson County where she has served in multiple positions, but now is the Kinship Care Coordinator, seeking relative placements for children who are in foster care. She has a passion for partnering with families and other professionals to ensure systems are collaborating to provide the best possible service to families. Committed to working with children and families, Jessica strives to provide safety, well-being, and permanency for children in care.
Saturday, May 23 – David Haydon
In 2013, David Haydon, suffered a traumatic brain injury after being hit by a car in 2013. Mentally and physically affected, David spent nine weeks in the hospital and rehab, but was able to return home to his family, and still continues therapy to this day. His perseverance and strength are why he has been chosen to the be the honoree at the 2015 Amy Thompson Run. The 28th Annual event is one of the oldest and most well-known runs in Kansas City has raised more than $2 million since its inception to help all people with brain injury and the professionals who treat them.
Sunday, May 24 – Tom Pfannenstiel
Tom recently retired from the Royals after serving more than 37 years in the Club's finance department. He helped organize the ticketing process during the Royals first trip to the World Series in 1980 and then for the 1985 World Series against the Cardinals 30 years ago. Tom was a mainstay in finance, human resources and payroll and kept the atmosphere light and professional with a sense of humor and a dedication to detail. He stayed with the Royals just long enough to experience his third World Series last fall. He is joined today by his family, whom he finally spends more time with these days.
Tuesday, June 2 – Pat Cocherl
An advocate for children his entire life, Pat Cocherl founded two charities that benefit their community. The AbNormAl Society raises money to help those in need and has helped give $1,000,000 to over 2000 families. Pat also founded the Blue Valley Recreation Commission that gives members of all ages the opportunity to experience world-class recreational opportunities.
A coach and former board member of the Blue Valley School District, Pat and his family also have the Cocherl Family Foundation Scholarship program that awards high school seniors with a disability the funding to seek post-secondary education.
Wednesday, June 3 – Mike and Darla Pummill
Married forty-four years, Mike and Darla Pummill spend a lot of their free-time organizing food drives for those who need the support. As Director and volunteers of the Community Services League in Independence, Mike and Darla take time ordering, unloading, and shelving food items to help more than 100 families each month.
The Blue Springs couple understand the demand and need for many families who are less fortunate, so they spend countless hours trying to help through food drives and other types of assistance.
Thursday, June 4 – John Hager
John Hager has given fifty continuous years to coaching and helping kids learn the game of baseball and about life. Through his leadership and role as President, he has kept the KC 3 and 2 program alive for more than thirty-five years, allowing tens of thousands of youths to enjoy the game of baseball.
Named Manager of the Year numerous times, John has also been inducted into the Hall of Fame by the Kansas City Sports Commission and awarded executive excellence by the Midwest Professional Baseball Scouts Association.
Friday, June 5 – Jenna Tischer
On Mother's Day of 2014, Jenna Tischer suffered sudden cardiac death and a stroke. While waiting for the EMT to arrive, her husband Jason performed CPR on her. Suffering from a spontaneous coronary artery dissection, Jenna survived an issue that less than 20 percent of people survive, and she has worked tirelessly through physical and occupational therapy so she can one day teach and care for her young children again.
Regardless of her day-to-day struggles, Jenna is committed to educating the community and serves as an advocate for the American Heart Association.
Saturday, June 6 – June Beaver
After growing up and unable to seek higher education because scholarships were wasted on girls, June Beaver vowed that she would do whatever it took to help promising students fulfill their dream through higher education. Since then, she has donated approximately $200,000 to Dream Factory to help pay for the Larry Moore scholarships since 2001, helping 40 students.
June believes that through education equality is born, making the world a better place.
Sunday, June 7 – Andy Brown
The owner of a pipeline supply company, Andy Brown has employed numerous veterans of war. Utilizing his passion for horses, Andy has also started War Horses for Veterans which is a three-day equine and networking experience. Through the program, veterans are able to bond with each other and with the horses, as well as provide the veterans a peaceful break from everyday life challenges.