CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - Radio veteran Keith Landecker will travel to Washington, D.C., to represent the scenic city this week at the national Jefferson Awards banquet.
Landecker was chosen in March, from a group of 12 honorees, as Chattanooga's 2011 Jefferson Award winner.
Landecker is the afternoon voice of Power 94, but was selected for his work with inner city boys.
Landecker grew up in the inner city of Detroit, and attributes baseball to his success. Now he uses the sport to reach youth in his community.
His mission began eight years ago, when he realized the city of Chattanooga doesn't offer baseball to boys older than 12.
"We don't turn them back out to the streets because they are 12 and there is no where for them to play," said Landecker, in an interview with Channel 3 earlier this year.
Landecker rallied a group of professionals with a love for the game. Together they built a team of their own, known as the Tennessee Express. Now Landecker is coaching multiple teams. He also provides transportation for players, and mentoring.
"This is more than just baseball, this is going to teach them how to be professional fathers, professional coaches, mentors," says Landecker.
Channel 3 was invited to attend practice and meet the kids Landecker coaches. It was easy to see being a part of the team is work. Between practices the boys maintain the field, a fee for using a local high school's field.
"He teaches life lessons out here, Coach Keith knows what he's talking about," says 15-year-old Aldo Frias.
Now his team is cheering him on. Landecker, and his family, will attend the national Jefferson Award banquet Tuesday night where a national winner will be named.
To read more about Keith Landecker's story click here.
WRCB's Callie Starnes will travel to Washington, D.C. to be there as a winner is announced. Look for updates on-air and online. You can also follow Callie on twitter.
NATIONAL JEFFERSON AWARD
The Board of Selectors chooses the winners. The national Jefferson Awards honorees are a "Who's Who" of American history makers. Each year, one winner is selected in each of four categories: Greatest Public Service by an Elected or Appointed Official, Greatest Public Service by a Private Citizen, Greatest Public Service Benefiting the Disadvantaged, Greatest Public Service by an Individual 35 Years or Under.
To read more about the Jefferson Awards visit their website.
LOCAL JEFFERSON AWARD
Landecker is one of twelve Jefferson Award Honorees. Also recognized for 2011 are: Wendy Ransom, Eddie Holmes, Carlos Dempsey, Tommie Erwin, Mike Brumlow, Jim Samples, Jim Rogers, Kaylee Radzyminski, Johnny Jennings, Herb Cohn and Bobby Radford
The award locally is sponsored by WRCB-TV, our partners at the Chattanooga Times Free Press and First Tennessee Bank.