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.2014 Nominations
Friday, April 4 – Kay McGuff
To open the Royals 45th anniversary season, we welcome Kay McGuff, the widow of former Kansas City Star editor Joe McGuff. The legendary editor played an instrumental role in securing an American League expansion franchise for Kansas City and later served on the Royals Board of directors and was enshrined in the baseball writers' wing of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. In 2006, the Kauffman Stadium press box was named after Joe McGuff to recognize his contributions the franchise.
The McGuff family not only supported the home-town team but made countless contributions to the community.
Sunday, April 6 – John and Chris Macrander
Scouting brothers, John and Chris Macrander are being honored by the Boy Scouts of America for their quick thinking and being prepared. While on a jog in March 2012, their mother began to have headaches that eventually left her unconscious. Due to their quick actions which were likely lifesaving, they were honored with the rare award: The National Certificate of Merit by the National Council of Boy Scouts of America this past February.
Monday, April 7 – Ward Foley
Born with arthrogryposis, a rare condition characterized by stiff joints and abnormally developed muscles, Ward Foley decided to use his story and struggles to bring joy to others. The hospice volunteer created Scarman, a project that encourages children to love and accept themselves and their scars.
As a part of the program, volunteers create blank dolls that Ward gives to children all over the world allowing them to draw their own scars on them.
Tuesday, April 8 – Margaret Ackley
87 year-old Margaret Ackley never misses an opportunity to help out with programs within her community. Each week she spends time in the Cross-Lines thrift store and food kitchen, and also helps with yearly events including their 5K and Gala.
Last year, at the United Way Annual Dinner, the Lenexa native was recognized as their volunteer of the year after seventeen years of helping others in the Kansas City, Kansas area.
Wednesday, April 9 – Cree Korchack
Born with an innate sense of wanting to help the community and those around her, Cree Korchak has been voluntarily doing things for others since she was little. She has been able to help her community in many ways, including organizing community gardens, planting redbud trees, and driving trucks on neighborhood cleanups. An animal lover, Cree has also devoted countless hours to rescuing animals and finding them loving homes.
Friday, April 18 – Kelly Cannova
After her mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2011, Kelly Cannova founded the OVERRUN Ovarian Cancer Foundation. Committing herself to make a difference for her and the thousands who are affected by ovarian cancer, Kelly started a 5K to offer a day of hope and support for many, and to raise money for better treatment options and ultimately, a cure.
The 5K, which in its third year will take place in November, is a race for anyone who wants to take part with all proceeds directly going to ovarian cancer research in the Kansas City area.
Saturday, April 19 – Sister Andrea Kantner
Sister Andrea Kantner, a missionary in Brazil for 17 1/2 years, is a member of the Sisters of St Francis of the Holy Eucharist in Independence, Missouri. She coordinates the Franciscan Sisters Mission Warehouse, distributing food, toys, equipment and medical supplies to poor and disadvantaged people.
Sister Kantner originally set a goal of collecting one twenty-foot container of supplies a year. However, now eighteen years later, she has distributed more than 205 shipments throughout the world.
Sunday, April 20 – Denise Herman
Inspired by her mother to help others, Denise Herman has started many programs to help the students at Olathe North High School. In 2007, Denise started the Prom Closet to ensure all students had a chance to attend their dances by offering clothing options for both girls and boys, and in 2010, started the Eagle Packs Program which helps low-socioeconomic students get the food they need on weekends.
More recently, the Olathe native started a gas card program that helps offset the cost of families driving students to college visits throughout their senior year.
Tuesday, April 29 – Kathleen Murry Parker
After retiring, Kathleen Murry Parker knew she wanted to help others and now serves as the President of the Board of Directors at the domestic violence shelter, SAFEHOME. In addition to her volunteer work there, Kathleen also volunteers for Delete Blood Cancer, a bone marrow donation center in which she and her family have registered over 24,000 people in the last two years.
Last year, Kathleen started the program, "18 and Swabbin'" which is designed to get area high school students to join the National Bone Marrow Registry.
Wednesday, April 30 – Carl Nothnagel
For over 40 years, Carl Nothnagel has dedicated his life to serving his community through his involvement in sports by acting as a coach, umpire and mentor. Still umpiring at 74, Carl takes pride in his work, and has taught many others the rules, mechanics, and people skills that make a good umpire at all levels of the game.
While still working several games, Carl has been the umpire assignor and Rules Interpreter for the Missouri High School Athletic Association for 27 seasons.
Thursday, May 1 – Todd Miller
For the past eight years, Todd Miller and his wife Jenne have been running The Beadle Program, a ministry that offers support to single mothers and their children in Olathe, Kansas. A part of the Shepherd's Care Ministries, the program helps provide stability, job training, and many other types of support to help get the families back on their feet.
A volunteer chaplain at the Johnson County Juvenile Detention Center, Todd also donates his time to providing support to at risk youth and their families.
Friday, May 2 – Lonnie Bush
While going through her own chemotherapy treatments, breast-cancer survivor Lonnie Bush noticed others were missing their appointments because they couldn't afford the co-pay. Realizing so many needed help, Lonnie started hosting fundraisers throughout the year to provide scarves, wigs, and financial assistance to cancer patients, and recently helped pay for a funeral of someone who lost her battle with cancer.
A trainer and owner of the Lonnie Bush Fitness Center, she wrote the book "Cancer Was My Blessing" where she shares her struggles and triumphs of her journey with cancer.
Saturday, May 3 – Kayra (kay-ruh) Thompson
Over the few days following a car accident, Kayra Thompson began to suffer concussion symptoms and sought treatment at The University of Kansas Hospital's Center for Concussion Management. After carefully following her doctor's orders, she was able to fully recover within a few weeks and start her first job after college.
Kayra represents the hundreds of people who recognized concussion symptoms and sought treatment before experiencing worse effects of their accidents.
Sunday, May 4 – Sean Lefler
Sean Lefler is committed to spreading autism awareness in the Kansas City area, driven by his son Nick, who is on the autism spectrum. While involved with Autism Speaks, he has rallied his employer and others in the community to get involved in the annual Kansas City Walk Now for Autism Speaks.
Personally, Sean has raised more than $15,000 for area research through the Kickin' It For Nick walk team.
Tuesday, May 13 – Bruce McGregor
Nearly 18 years ago, Dr. Bruce McGregor founded Freedom Fire Ministries, a non-profit organization that cares for children living in the federal housing developments located east of downtown Kansas City. Mentoring over 700 youth, Freedom Fire also provides alternative and educational programs that help youth with their schooling.
Under Bruce's guidance and with help from numerous churches and various organizations, Freedom Fire has expanded to five locations.
Wednesday, May 14 – Gale and Kay Muller
An education-oriented family, Gale and Kay Muller believe that children benefit from activities outside the classroom, but saw many families could not afford it. Anonymously, this couple from Lincoln, Nebraska helped pay for other students fees for years, but eventually created The Village Foundation to officially support students in need.
Each scholarship from the foundation provides a student with the funding necessary to participate in different groups including sports teams, camps, and clubs.
Thursday, May 15 – Keenan Stump
Speech therapist and owner of New Balloon Therapy Services, Keenan Stump created an event to bring awareness of how beautifully funny the lives of families of children with autism can be. The fundraiser, entitled "An Evening With The Rents," featured parents of children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder working with local comedians to turn their stories about parenting a child with special needs into stage-ready comic material.
All proceeds from the sold out event went to benefit Camp Encourage, an overnight summer camp devoted to the social growth and independence of children with autism.
Saturday, May 17 – Randy Sandy
Since 2001, Randy Sandy has donated hundreds of hours of his time as a volunteer and donor at the National World War I Museum. As a First Sergeant, Randy served his country in Vietnam and Afghanistan. Randy has personally distributed more than 10,000 U.S. flags to veterans and he is partnering with the Museum to build hand-crafted shadow boxes featuring flags flown over the Museum as part of the upcoming World War I Centennial Commemoration.
Sunday, May 18 – Betty Green
Kansas City, Kansas native Betty Green followed the Kansas City Athletics â and the Monarchs before that â but quickly became a bigger fan of the Royals. Two of her sons played in the Royals Academy in the 1970's. Throughout the last 50 years, she spent much of her time cooking for the priests at Our Lady and St. Rose Catholic Church, and serving as "grandma" to foster children in KCK.
Now blind, "Ms. Green" listens to the Royals on radio every game and has missed only a few broadcasts since the team's inception in 1969.
Monday, May 19 – Amy Woddell
After surviving a brain stroke, Amy Woddell was left motionless and speechless until she was able to clearly articulate to her husband that she loved him and "wanted an orange popsicle." After months of rehab, she, with the help of her husband, decided to start the National Orange Popsicle Week to help raise awareness of stroke in young people.
Held annually during the third week in May, Amy and her husband raise funds for research to educate young people about the signs of a stroke.
Tuesday, May 20 – Kylee Bliss
A former basketball player, Kylee Bliss has lived with post-concussion syndrome for the past two-and-a-half years. Last fall, Kylee created the non-profit HeadsUp Foundation for post-concussion syndrome to raise funds and promote awareness and provide education to athletes, coaches and parents about the devastating and potentially long-term impacts of concussions.
Kylee regularly speaks with athletes and will be sharing her story throughout the US. She has been selected to serve as a Student Ambassador for the Protecting Athletes and Sports Safety Initiative.
Wednesday, May 21 – Jamey McVicker
In 2001, Jamey McVicker's son, Aiden was born without eyes or eye structure, a disease known as bilateral anophthalmia. As a result, Jamey created The Aiden McVicker Charitable Fund, which provides funding for local specialized schools and organizations, and to help families with children with special needs.
Each year, the charity also holds a golf tournament called "Aces Fore Aiden" which was established to honor Aiden and his spirit.
Monday, May 26 – Melissa Jarboe
After her husband, Staff Sergeant Jamie Jarboe was shot in Afghanistan paralyzing him from the chest down, Melissa Jarboe spent his remaining months loving and caring for him. After he passed away in 2012, Melissa decided to use her life to fulfill her husband's dying wish of helping other veterans.
Creating the Military Veteran Project in honor of her late husband, Melissa uses the charity to advocate, educate, and honor military veterans and their families.
Tuesday, May 27 – Kathy Morelli
A Shared Solutions Nurse for 13 years, Kathy Morelli provides nurse support and therapy education to people living with Multiple Sclerosis. Passionate about caring for her patients, she is recognized among her peers for her experience and commitment to people living with MS.
Actively involved in her community, Kathy also represents Teva at the local MS Walk and has served on many local committees.
Wednesday, May 28 – Barry Young
The Executive Pastor at New Life Assembly Church, Barry Young is very involved within his community of Oak Groves. Through various programs, Barry helps homeless single mothers, honors area first responders, and helps hand out over 20,000 pounds of food each month to those who need it.
As a chaplain with the Independence Police Department, Barry also helps council and assist police and residents with everything from family issues to tragic incidents.
Wednesday, June 4 – Tristin Stuteville
Eighteen-year-old Tristin Stuteville is the owner and operator of K-C Goalkeeping, a non-profit providing free soccer training to players of any age or sex, regardless of their skill level. A player for the semi-pro team, K-C Courage, Tristin provides her own equipment and is credited for helping many athletes receive scholarships.
A volunteer for different organizations in the area, Tristin also requires all of her goalkeepers to do work within their communities.
Thursday, June 5 – Patty Garney
Over the years, Patty Garney has played a role in a number of organizations including the American Red Cross, KU School of Social Welfare, the United Way of Greater Kansas City, and Friends of the Zoo. Recognized with dozens of honors, Patty was recently named one of City Union Mission's "Women Who've Changed The Heart of City".
Throughout her experience, Patty takes great pride in knowing she's helped others in our community.
Friday, June 6 – Ron Stevenson
Involved with baseball his whole life, Ronald Stevenson helps with the more than 900 kids who play in the Kansas City, Missouri Reviving Baseball in the Inner Cities program each year. Serving as the Director of the program since December, 2008, Ron played a vital role in the revitalization efforts of several fields in the urban core including Satchel Paige Stadium and the 43rd and Cleveland Complex.
The Kansas City native has helped hundreds of kids attend college by helping them develop the baseball and academic skills to earn athletic scholarships.
Saturday, June 7 – Denis Kweri
After visiting his village in Sudan, Denis Kweri realized many people he grew up with were still desperate for basic human needs. This prompted Denis and his wife Jane to create the non-profit organization Kubi for Hope, which is dedicated to providing food, water, shelter, and health services to villages in South Sudan and Uganda.
A Kansas City Aviation Department employee, Denis works two jobs and collects aluminum cans to help those who have been devastated by the long civil war in South Sudan.
Sunday, June 8 – Lynn Splittorff
Joining us today in the Buck O'Neil Legacy Seat is Lynn Splittorff, the wife of the late great Paul Splittorff, the winningest pitcher in Royals history. Active in the community for years with Royals wives, she is now promoting sun safety through outpacing melanoma, a non-profit organization dedicated to early detection, screening, and prevention in the fight against melanoma.
She and close family and friends keep Splitt's memory alive with a golf tournament in his honor to continue the awareness surrounding skin cancer and care.
Monday, June 9 – Pam Kelley
A tireless volunteer, Pam Kelley organizes multiple events for the Dwight Eisenhower Hospital in Leavenworth and organizes the veteran activities for sixteen local chapters. Giving time and money for others, she also volunteers at Harvesters and Seton Center during the holiday season.
Pam has also co-created the Madam President Camp, a leadership camp designed to inspire girls to become leaders in their communities.
Tuesday, June 10 – Gina Tireman
After Gina Tireman's son was diagnosed with autism four years ago, she began writing a blog as an emotional outlet but quickly realized many other parents were worried and unsure about their own situations. Wanting to help, Gina has educated herself and others about autism through countless seminars and books.
An advocate of Light It Up Blue, the Olathe, Kansas, native shares her knowledge and resources by implementing several programs in her hometown.
Wednesday, June 11 – Barbara Pfaff
For seventeen years, Barbara Pfaff has been a Hospice volunteer and was even named the "Missouri Hospice Volunteer of the Year" in 2005. Working with many other organizations, Barbara has also raised funds for the Assistance League of Kansas City Auxiliary and volunteered at Children's Mercy Hospital for several years.
As member of the Northland Giving Circle, she joins 300 other women to help countless charities in Kansas City.
Friday, June 20 – Kori Hines
Diagnosed with leukemia in 2011 when she was just 13, Kori Hines had a brief remission but the cancer returned later that year. Treated at Children's Mercy Hospital, Kori received a successful bone marrow transplant in October and is now on track to graduate with her class in 2015.
A pediatric cancer survivor, Kori launched the Kori Cares Foundation to collect and donate personal hygiene products to parents who have children admitted to the hospital for cancer treatment.
Saturday, June 21 – Bob Gutschenritter
After suffering a heart attack in 2003 at the age of 55, Robert Gutschenritter realized just how the disease can impact one's life and joined the American Heart Association to help fight heart disease. Serving on the "Special Appeals Campaign," Bob began connecting with others and engaging people about the need to fight America's number one killer.
Since 2006, Bob has helped raise more than $550,000 to fight for the mission.
Sunday, June 22 – Wes Loeffler
Looking for something to do in their free time, Wes Loeffler and his wife Amber began volunteering at Wayside Waifs in 2012. Holding a variety of duties, Wes enjoys working with shy and fearful animals, teaching them how to trust again and rehabilitating them to go to their forever home.
Both Wes and his wife know that with each dog who finds a home they have to say goodbye, but know there is always another dog who needs patience and affection.
Monday, June 23 – Brian Ellefson
Brian Ellefson serves as the President of the Board of Directors of The Whole Person, a non-profit organization that provides a full range of community-based services for people with disabilities. Having earned both a bachelors and masters degree in Rehabilitation Counseling, Brian also volunteers on a number of committees and boards to raise awareness and help those with disabilities transition from school to living adult lives.
Appointed as a commissioner by the governor of Kansas in 2000, Brian lives his life as an advocate for those with disabilities.
Tuesday, June 24 – Steve Stras
Retiring after 36 years as a United States Postal Service letter carrier, Steve Stras began volunteering throughout the community doing everything from selling tickets at arts and food festivals to working at the Johnson County Library.
Spending much time in the car, Steve also drives the elderly to doctors' appointments, delivers for the Community Food Pantry, and takes blood to area hospitals for the Community Blood Center.
Wednesday, June 25 – Tim McCoy
The President of Young Variety of Greater Kansas City, Tim McCoy assisted in pulling together the key partners in building two adaptive baseball fields in the Kansas City area for children with special needs to play baseball. Tim also assisted in securing funds and building the first destination adaptive playground for all kids to play together in the community.
Earlier today, the fields and playground were dedicated in Independence, Missouri, with a special ceremony and clinic hosted by Royals players for 40 Variety children.
Friday, June 27 – Teri Ackerson
A critical care nurse and stroke coordinator, Teri Ackerson spent her nursing career teaching others how to deal with stroke symptoms. After suffering from her own stroke in 2013, Teri was determined not to let it interrupt her life and ran a marathon just twenty-six days after being released from the hospital.
Teri now provides stroke education to nurses, physicians, and her community to raise awareness and help others through their life-altering journeys from strokes and heart disease.
Saturday, June 28 – Allie Altehofen
While at Staley High School, Allie Altenhofen founded the Blackout Childhood Cancer Relay Run that benefits the Children's Mercy Hospital Oncology Unit. A relay race conducted prior to a select football game each year, over $6,000 has been raised for the hospital.
Wanting to help those who are less fortunate, Allie has also hosted a shoe drive for adolescents and has been a leader in a number of organizations aimed at helping her community.
Sunday, June 29 – Steve Huff
Steve Huff, a father of three from Topeka, Kansas, was recently named the 2014 Royals Father of the Year. The essay contest, presented by the National Center for Fathering, asks area kids "What my father or father-figure means to me."
Steve was nominated by his son Braxton who wrote that his dad was "intelligent, loving, an e-bay seller with 100% positive feedback, a spiritual leader, my algebra tutor, the one I can talk to no matter what, and the man who won't show up late for an academic event."