In addition to all the damage done by our wild weather Monday morning, Kansas City and many people around here are also remembering Kelsey Smith, who was abducted and killed one year ago tonight. She's the Shawnee Mission West senior shoved into her kidnapper's car at the Overland Park Target store near Oak Park Mall. Her body was found near a lake across the state line in Missouri.
Fortunately, the Kansas City Royals organization also remembered Kelsey's family this past weekend.
It wasn't in the newspapers, and some of the KC-TV stations covered it. The Royals named Kelsey's father, Greg, as the winner of the Dan Quisenberry Father's Day Award just before the ballgame on Sunday. The Smith's 13 year old daughter, Codie, wrote the winning essay in their Father's Day Essay Contest! Greg Smith was honored with a beautiful crystal pitcher engraved with the honor. Then the Royals escorted Greg and the Smith family to his Buck O'Neil Legacy Seat for the entire game. The Smiths were also shown around the stadium before the game, and Greg was on the pitcher's mound to toss out the first pitch.
The crowd (including our family) was glad to see Greg Smith laughing and smiling again, clearly thrilled to receive the honor from the Royals. He has helped guide the lifesaving, child-protecting work of the Kelsey Smith Foundation. He has also spent the past year guiding Kelsey's family through the worst year of their lives. He says "our lives will never be the same, but we are busy with the work of the Foundation in Kelsey's memory."
Oh, yeah.. the Royals won 6-1 in probably one of their best games of the season.
Thanks to the Royals for brightening up what would otherwise be a day of remembering the sad details of her death. I'm sure Kelsey would be grateful the Royals organization put a smile on her father's face. RH