(KANSAS CITY, MO) — On Friday, November 11, ten First Watch restaurants in Kansas City celebrated Buck O’Neil Day in honor of former Negro League Baseball Museum chairman and local baseball legend, John Jordan “Buck” O’Neil (1911-2006), who would have celebrated his 100th birthday on November 13.
For the fifth year in a row, all ten First Watch restaurants in the Kansas City area donated 100 percent of a day’s profits to the Negro Leagues’ Baseball Museum’s Hall of Education. This year, $6,661.20 was provided, bringing the total amount donated by First Watch towards educational programs at the museum to $25,680.47 since 2007.
“First Watch strives to support charitable giving in our communities,” said Bill Shafer, First Watch Restaurants Regional Manager. “We are proud to support the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum’s efforts, and we are pleased that the proceeds from our donations will help preserve the history of African American baseball through educational programming and exhibitions.”
Buck O’Neil Day at Kansas City First Watch restaurants included autographed signings by former Kansas City Royals players and former Negro League Baseball players:
• Willie Aikens, Jaime Bluma, and John Mayberry – First Watch at 95th St. and Metcalf
• Joe Randa – First Watch at Fairway and West 53rd St.
• Mickey Cobb, Jim Eisenreich, Dennis Leonard, and Nick Swartz – First Watch at Independence
• Kevin Seitzer and David Wickersham – First Watch at Overland Park and Corporate Woods
• Al Fitzmorris and Brian McRae, First Watch at Olathe and 119th Street
• Paul McGannon – First Watch at Prairie Village and Corinthian Hills
• Jesse Rogers, Ulysses Hollimon, and DeMorris Smith (son of Hilton Smith) joined by Kansas City Chief’s mascot KC Wolf – First Watch at Westport Rd.
“We are thankful for First Watch’s generosity and support of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum through the years,” said Bob Kendrick, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum President.
First Watch specializes in the creation of traditional Breakfast, Brunch and Lunch favorites such as pancakes, omelets, salads and sandwiches, as well as signature items including the Chickichanga®, Healthy Turkey Omelet™ and Fresh Fruit Crepes. All menu items are freshly prepared to order, and the restaurant does not use microwaves, deep fryers or heat lamps.
First Watch has received more than 200 “Best Of” accolades in markets across the country. All First Watch restaurants are open daily from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
First Watch is the largest and fastest-growing, privately owned, daytime-only restaurant concept in the United States. Of its more than 90 existing restaurants in 13 states, six are franchised and four are licensed and future growth is expected to come from key multi-unit, regional franchises to experienced restaurateurs in new markets in 35 states throughout the continental U.S. First Watch recently opened new restaurants in Oklahoma City, Nashville and Milwaukee. First Watch expects to grow to 115 restaurants by the end of 2012, with a dozen franchised locations open and more than 30 in various stages of development. For more information, visit www.firstwatch.com.