Shawnee man nominated for ESPN honor

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SHAWNEE, Kan. -- Just like professional football, it takes a team to create a community.

One Chiefs fanatic from Shawnee demonstrates that through his volunteer work. His generosity has landed him on the ballot for a prestigious national award -- possible induction into the ESPN Fan Hall of Fame.

He never stops. Being busy is a mission for 59-year-old Steve Capell.

"I've always had this desire to find a way to help someone else," Capell said.

Capell lives up to his word. During the last 10 years, the retired railroad worker has donated eight-to-10 hours per week, helping inmates at the Lansing Correctional Facility. That's where Steve helps prisoners learn responsible life skills, and avoid going back to jail after their sentence is done.

"In all the years I've worked out there, I get men coming up to me to say thanks for helping us," Capell said. "They're not there to cause you problems. You're there to help them."

Capell's giving ways don't stop there. He volunteers an additional five hours per week, working at Crosslines Thrift Store in KCK.

"He really loves to help people," Crosslines Executive Director Roberta Lindbeck said. "It comes out in the funniest things he does. He has a great sense of humor. He joyfully gives."

Word of Steve's generosity reached ESPN, and the organizers of their Fan Hall of Fame. 2013 will be the second year the sports network honors local football fans for their inspirational ways. Capell is one of five Chiefs fans up for the honor.

"I've always found places that need different things," Capell said. "If I can plug myself in, I desire to do that."

Steve says he has no idea who nominated him for that ESPN honor, but he doesn't do his charitable work for recognition. Steve's a longtime Chiefs fan, and he views life the same way he views football -- where personal recognition is secondary.

"I just do it to help my fellow man," Capell said. "If they have a need, then I can plug myself into that need, then I'm going to do that."

Steve's schedule is busy, yet he says he always has time for more.

The winners in ESPN's contest will be chosen by a panel of judges at the network. This year's class of inductees will be announced on December 2nd.

Click here for Sean McDowell's FOX 4 Facebook page.

Click here for Crosslines Outreach in KCK.

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