We Put the “Fun” in Fundraising
Jazz & Jackie
While many are aware that Jackie Robinson courageously broke Major League Baseball’s color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers, few know that his pioneering professional baseball career began in the Negro Leagues with the Kansas City Monarchs. On May 6, 1945, Robinson played his first game with the Monarchs. A few months later, he would be signed into the Dodgers organization and took the field with the Dodgers on April 15, 1947. That monumental event would change the game and America forever. In 2016, the NLBM launched “Jazz & Jackie” to annually celebrate Robinson’s Kansas City roots and his love of a musical art form, jazz, that got its soul in Kansas City.
Salute to the Negro Leagues & Dressed to the Nines
How popular were the Kansas City Monarchs? So popular that Black Churches would move their Sunday service time back an hour so that fans could attend the game. Fans left church, “Dressed to the Nines,” headed straight to the ballpark to see their beloved Monarchs play. In 2013, the NLBM teamed with a group of local Kansas City Royals baseball fans to recreate that spirit by putting on their “Sunday Best” to watch a Royals game. A new tradition, “Dressed to the Nines,” was born. The stylish event is now paired with the Royals annual “Salute to the Negro Leagues,” and has easily become the most fashionable day in baseball.
Heart of America Hot Dog Festival
To Celebrate the historical connection between our national pastime and the hot dog, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM) in partnership with Hy-Vee, Pepsi and Farmland established the “Heart of America Hot Dog Festival” in 2013 to rave reviews. The family-friendly Festival includes live entertainment, mascots, games, autograph sessions, and trivia along with admission to the NLBM. In 2018, the festival has attracted more than 10,000 hot dog lovers.
Top: R& B legends, Lakeside, made the Hot Dog Fest a “Fantastic Voyage. Left: Festival goers brought their appetite for the All-American Hot Dog. Right: AverySunshine giving a soulful performance at the 2018 Hot Dog Fest.
Buck O'Neil Golf Classic
Held annually in August, the Buck O’Neil Golf Classic attracts an All-Star roster of baseball and sports legends who tee-it-up in support of the NLBM.
Top: 2018 Buck O’Neil Golf Classic had golfers jumping for joy. Top right: DeMorris Smith (son of Hall of Famer, Hilton Smith) and former Major Leaguer, Diego Segui. Middle right: Former Major Leaguer, Al Oliver and Keith Novorr. Bottom right: Kansas City Royals legend, Frank White. Bottom left: Emi Kiyoizumi (Viacom), Stewart Myers (NLBM Board Chairman), Charlie Shaddock (Viacom) and Royals Hall of Famer, Willie Wilson. The 2018 Buck O’Neil Golf Classic was presented by NBC Universal.
For More than a decade, the late, great John “Buck” O’Neil used his birthday to raise awareness and funds in support of the NLBM. After his untimely death in 2006, the NLBM continued the tradition of celebrating the life of the Negro Leagues legend and beloved baseball ambassador. In 2018, the NLBM hosted a three-day celebration that included the 2nd Annual Rock the Vine Fashion Show; Buck’s Bash and concluded with a Gospel Salute to Buck.
Top Left: Former NLBM President, Randall Ferguson, presents a custom 1942 Kansas City Monarchs jersey to NLBM Board Member, Mamie Hughes, the 2018 recipient of the Randall Ferguson Award given annually to the NLBM “Board Member of the Year. Right: 2018 Buck O’Neil Legacy Award recipient, Gail McCann Beatty and Missouri State Senator, Kiki Curls, presented a $250,000 check from the State of Missouri in support of the NLBM.
Left: NLBM president, Bob Kendrick, accepted a $250,000 contribution from the City of Kansas City. Right: KPRT Gospel Radio host, Debbie Dee, wears her winter Monarchs gear after serving as host of the annual Gospel Salute to Buck.
Gap Experience gave a fun and funky performance post Buck’s Bash after party.