Richard Cash hasn’t scored a touchdown, made a game-saving tackle or kicked an important field goal for the Fort Osage High School football team, but he is as much a part of the Indians football family as coach Ryan Schartz, Kansas State quarterback Skylar Thompson or NFL defensive back E.J. Gaines.

That’s because Cash, the owner of Little Richard’s Family Restaurant in Independence, is celebrating his 30th anniversary of donating streaks, chicken, barbecue and all the works for Senior Nights, team breakfasts and dinners and other special occasions.

“Richard is Fort Osage High School,” said Deb Romero, one of the football moms who help feed the Indians football team. “He’s part of our family, and my gosh, he has been for years and years and years.”

“He doesn’t just donate food. He and his wonderful staff set everything up; they come out and cook the food, serve it, clean up and provide everything. We love Richard and his staff.”

Nancy Velder, another football dinner squad mom responsible for feeding the Indians, wholeheartedly agrees.

“Let me see,” she said, “how can I best put it? What Richard provides is lavish and wonderful! His biscuits and gravy is the best, and his steak, chicken and potatoes – well, let’s just say there is nothing left over when the boys are done eating.”

“And when we all go eat at Little Richard’s, his restaurant, the food is just as good and the staff is just as nice and gracious as they are when they serve us at Fort Osage. He is a member of the family, an important member of the Fort Osage family.”

Schartz, who averaged 10 wins a season over his last decade as the Fort Osage football coach, is now the school’s activities director, so he still works with Cash.

“Has anyone talked about Little Richard’s barbecue?” Schartz asked. “I love his steaks and chicken, but when he brings barbecue I get excited because it’s the best. We love him. He is a part of our family and will always be a part of the Fort Osage family.”

Coach Brock Bult is quick to add, “Little Richard’s has done more for our football program than I could ever thank Richard for.”

“They donate food and had supported our program for as long as I can remember. He is a part of the family.”

When asked how this love affair began, Cash just smiles and takes a sip of coffee.

“I graduated from Fort Osage, and that school means so much to me,” said Cash, who along with his wife Janie have had three children graduate from Fort Osage. Their daughter, Kathryn Lampkin is an assistant varsity volleyball coach.

“I really don’t know how it all started 30 years ago. I probably just said what can I do to help, and here we are 30 years down the road – and I have enjoyed every minute of it.”

He took another sip of coffee, and added, “And I’m happy they have, too.”