Father of the Year…
Each season, the Royals partner with the National Center for Fathering to host the Father of the Year essay contest. The contest encourages local students to submit essays about their dads – “What my Dad means to Me.”
Before the Royals 1:10 p.m. game against the Indians, the overall Father of the Year winner will be announced to the public. This winner will be honored during the pregame ceremony as well as sit in the Buck O’Neil Legacy Seat for the game. Here are the five finalists:
Greg Smith – Teacher
Coping with family tragedy, Codie Smith, seventh grade, says of dad, Greg, “without him I don’t have one of my best friends.”
Mark Crawford – KCPD
A civilian supervisor at the Kansas City, MO Police Department, Mark Crawford appreciates his employer’s “family comes first” attitude. Son, Joshua, fifth grade, says dad “teaches the value of hard work, friendship, and a good education.”
Charles Robinson – UMKC faculty
“I’m teaching the next generation of teachers as if they were to be Ben’s teachers”, says dad Charles Robinson of his career as a music educator. Son, Ben, third grade, dreams of being a “scientist for the future.”
Richard Myers – Serving in the Military
“Long distance fathering takes extra effort” according to Rich Myers, which he takes very seriously. His wife is instrumental in helping him stay present in his children’s lives while serving overseas.
Son, Nate, says his “father is the most positive leader” that he has ever had in his life.
And the winner is…
Greg Smith was announced as the winner of the Royals annual Father of the Year Essay Contest. Greg, who threw out a ceremonial first pitch and was honored in the Buck O’Neil Legacy Seat, found out about the honor during the Royals pre-game ceremony on Sunday. 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 finding 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.
Congrats to all our “winning dads” and Happy “Early” Father’s Day from the Royals!