Baseball Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith shares journey to success at KC Boys & Girls Club event

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- For decades the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City has been impacting young lives throughout the metro area. On Wednesday night the organization met to raise funds for an important youth sports initiative.

“Through the club, through our sports programs, through our sports lab and healthy lifestyles programs, we keep the kids active so they don’t have sedentary lifestyles but we’re also instilling life skills,” said Waymond King, Director of Athletics for the Boys and Girls Clubs.

There are 10 different sports programs offered at six area clubs. Organizers say using sports as a vehicle to teach life skills can have a lasting effect on kids they serve, and the entire community.

“It helps these kids have focus and a dream and aspirations. When they’re focused in a positive direction it has an infectious impact in the community,” King explained.

Hundreds of people showed up to a fundraising event on Wednesday night to support this initiative. FOX 4’s Abby Eden hosted the event and Professional Baseball Hall of Fame member Osborne "Ozzie" Smith served as the keynote speaker.

“I always try to leave kids with the message of knowing that you’re only going to get out of something what you put in, if you don’t put in anything you shouldn’t expect anything in return. You have to work hard, extremely hard to be the very best that you can be at whatever it is that you choose to do in your life,” said Smith.

Before the event Smith spent the afternoon visiting with kids to share his personal journey to success.

“It gives them the opportunity to see that people that they look up to are probably in situations such as they are in now so being able to share those types of experiences is very important to for kids to know,” said Smith.

If you would like to donate to the Boys and Girls Club or volunteer with the organization visit their website at this link.