|First of Two Presentations of T.A.K.E. Self Defense Program on the Field at Kauffman Stadium is May 17|
Two dates have been scheduled this year for presentation of The Ali Kemp Educational (T.A.K.E.) Seminars on the playing field at Kauffman Stadium. The Kansas City Royals, 98.1 KUDL, and the Johnson County Park and Recreation District (JCPRD) have teamed to present these free programs
The first seminar will take place beginning at 10 a.m. on May 17, while the second will start at 9 a.m. on Aug. 16. KUDL’s Darcie Blake will kick off both classes. Both seminars will take place on Saturdays when the Royals are out of town. Participants are being asked to complete a registration form they can find online at http://kansascity.royals.mlb.com/kc/community/take_defense.jsp and bring it with them, but officials said walk-in participants will be accepted at both sessions on the day of the event.
Those planning to attend are asked to enter the stadium through Gate 2, park in Lot A, and proceed to Gate B. In case of inclement weather on the day of the event, those planning to attend are asked to call (913) 236-1290 to be advised of cancellation or rescheduling of the event.
The T.A.K.E. self-defense program represents a living legacy in honor of Ali Kemp, a 19-year-old Leawood resident who was murdered while working as a lifeguard at a neighborhood pool in Johnson County. The goal of the program is to raise awareness and to give women ages 12 and older the self-protection skills they need to avoid becoming victims of violent crime.
JCPRD Corporate and Community Wellness Manager Jill Leiker said the first half-hour of the class, consisting of verbal instruction and talk about safety awareness, will take place with participants in the stands and with Leiker and her staff standing on top of a dugout. For the hands-on training portion, Leiker will move to a stage on second base and participants will move onto the field. Leiker said she does not know what to expect attendance-wise, but hopes to draw at least 1,000 people for each session. The program has been presented to more than 26,000 women and girls since mid-2004.
Arrangements for the stadium sessions were made by a friend of Ali Kemp in response to a comment from Leiker. "I told her 'wouldn't it be cool if someday, we could do training at either Arrowhead (stadium) or at Kauffman Stadium?' " Leiker said. "I didn't know that she had a connection at Kauffman Stadium."
Not only were Royal's officials interested, they took it a step further and produced a Royals Charities Calendar, called a KCasual Look, which features Royals players in casual poses. This calendar retails for $10 each and will be sold at games. The T.A.K.E. Foundation will receive proceeds from calendar sales.