KC Hearts launches uplifting community events, starting with at-home NFL draft tailgates

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A special celebration is happening this week to celebrate the NFL draft, our world champion Chiefs and Kansas City.

It’s all part of a new program called KC Hearts, a way for people to stay connected while staying home.

On a beautiful Monday morning at 29th and Charlotte, it was like a Sunday during Chiefs season.

“This is a pretty special day because we brought out some grills and have some drinks and, yeah, we’re just getting our way through it,” Nathan Lewis said.

The smell of barbecues grilling brats and hotdogs, Patrick Mahomes proteges throwing spirals, parents chilling in chairs and kids wearing Chiefs gear signaled a tailgate — but not at Arrowhead.

And this driveway tailgate will be on every block in the metro Thursday.

“We are excited as not only an NFL town but as a world champion NFL town, world champion sports town really, to be part of the NFL draft efforts,” Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas said.

“Even though we are all staying at home, we are going to make sure that we actually celebrate a tailgate like never before seen in Kansas City and throughout the country.”

At 6 p.m. Thursday, the whole town will be up in smoke at driveway tailgates, celebrating the draft.

It’s the kickoff to KC Hearts, which will be a weekly series of fun activities everyone can do together while staying apart.

“People need to connect with each other as humans, and this being stuck at home is hard on people I think emotionally,” Jennifer Blubaugh said. “So being able to still connect with each other at a distance is still really important.”

Blubaugh has been connecting with neighbors daily by writing uplifting messages on a chalkboard in front of her house, and what she writes inspires others to give back.

“One of the neighbor kids came by yesterday and wrote on our sidewalk, ‘Thanks for the daily messages,’” Blubaugh said.

That’s the kind of spirit KC Hearts hopes to build throughout every neighborhood in the Kansas City metro.

Kathy Nelson, president and CEO of the Kansas City Sports Commission, was supposed to be in Las Vegas this week for the draft.

With COVID-19 spoiling those plans, it seemed natural to wrap the inaugural KC Hearts event into the draft, celebrate our world champion Chiefs and bring sports back to Kansas City.

“At 6 o’clock on Thursday I’m sure I will, my husband’s going to smoke meats, so I’ll feel better about missing out on everything,” Nelson said with a smile.

Thursday will be another opportunity for the Chiefs and Kansas City to shine, so take pictures of your tailgate and post them to social media using #KCHearts, #KCHeartsTailgate and #NFLDraft.

The Chiefs feel that they know when our community is supporting them and each other.

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