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K.C. Royals honor CFCA President Bob Hentzen

June 23, 2011

A balmy summer evening of baseball enjoyed by friends and members of the CFCA community proved the perfect backdrop to recognize CFCA President Bob Hentzen.

Bob Hentzen at the Kansas City Royals game
CFCA President Bob Hentzen, left; his wife, Cristina; and members
of the CFCA community celebrated at the June 22 baseball game
between the Kansas City Royals and the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Royals named Hentzen a Buck O'Neil Legacy Seat honoree.

Hentzen was honored by the Kansas City Royals and Fox Sports Kansas City with the Buck O'Neil Legacy Seat at Wednesday night's home game between the Royals and the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Legacy Seat recognizes a member of the Kansas City community who embodies the spirit of Buck O'Neil, a player for the Negro Leagues' Kansas City Monarchs and the first African-American coach in Major League Baseball.

Hentzen was recognized for his role in co-founding and leading CFCA since 1981 and for completing Walk2gether, a nearly 8,000-mile solidarity walk from Guatemala to Chile. The walk called attention to families living in poverty and promoted sponsorship of children as a viable way to help.

"Buck O'Neil was a person who brought people together through his incredible spirit," said Loretta Kline, CFCA director of communications. "He was a person who promoted unity and helped heal divisions. That's what CFCA has sought to do, and what Bob has done in his life's work – bring people of different backgrounds, different races and different cultures together to make a better world."

After being recognized for his work and given a plaque marking the occasion, Hentzen enjoyed the game from O'Neil's seat behind home plate, the same seat O'Neil used when he supported the Royals and worked as a scout.

The moment brought back treasured family memories for Hentzen.

"As a little boy, my dad used to take us kids out to see the Kansas City Monarchs play, especially when they played the Kansas City Blues," Hentzen said. "It was a very special evening, a very special time with our families. So this plaque does mean a lot to me."

About 250 friends and members of the CFCA community turned out to show their support.

Buck O'Neil brought far more than just positive attention to Kansas City, CFCA sponsor John Thorsky said.

"Bob has the same impact, not only in Kansas City, but throughout the world," he said.

Longtime sponsor James Healy praised Hentzen and CFCA for their work with families living in poverty.

"It makes me feel blessed to know there are so many good people in this world who will go out of their way to help somebody else," Healy said. "He's done so much for your organization. That's why we like [CFCA]. It's kind of like a family to us."

The exuberant crowd and pleasant weather weren't enough to boost the Royals to a win. They lost to the Diamondbacks 3-2.

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