Running in full uniform, Blue Springs Police Officer Keegan Hughes is making his way across much of Missouri for the second year in a row to honor fallen Missouri and Kansas first responders.
He is to arrive back home in Blue Springs today before continuing his run Saturday to Kauffman Stadium to deliver a game ball at the Royals game.
Hughes began his 165-mile run Sunday at the Greene County Sheriff’s Department in Springfield, and at each stop along the way he has honored the families of fallen first responders. Hughes presented them with flags featuring either a blue line for a police officer or a red line for a firefighter. During each leg of his run, Hughes carried one of these flags.
In addition to honoring the family, Hughes is raising money for Answering the Call, a non-profit organization started in 2015 by a Lee’s Summit officer to help benefit the families of fallen responders, providing them with funds necessary to get by following the death of a loved one.
Lt. Steve Decker of the Blue Springs Police Department, who is accompanying Hughes, said the support from the communities they pass through has been incredible, with families stepping out of their homes and schools emptying classrooms as Hughes passes by.
To welcome Hughes home, residents are invited to participate in a friendly “Glow Run 5K” tonight at the First Bible Baptist Church, 1441 S.E. Adams Dairy Parkway in Blue Springs. The run is open to all ages. Packet pickup and same-day registration starts at 6; the run is at 7:30. Participants are encouraged to dress in their best “glow.”
Once he arrives at Kauffman Stadium on Saturday, Hughes will deliver the game ball to Officer Sarah Olson of the Kansas City Police Department, and Firefighter James Sparks of the Kansas City, Kansas Fire Department. Both Olson and Sparks are currently battling Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as motor neurone disease or Lou Gehrig's disease, and they are to deliver the ceremonial first pitch.
Officer Hughes is scheduled to arrive at the Blue Springs Police Department at approximately 1:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. today.
Last year, Hughes ran from east to west across Missouri, arriving at Kauffman Stadium to deliver the first pitch ball to Independence Police Officer Tom Wagstaff before a Royals game.