Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Congratulations, Phil!

Phil Smith at the award ceremony with Edsel Ford

I am blessed to be part of an incredible family.  The latest chapter is the honor just conveyed on my brother, Phil, by Ford Motor Company for public service. Phil was one of just four in the U.S. to receive this award. I'll let Ford explain,

Phil Smith, Executive Vice-President of Dick Smith Ford, has been chosen to receive the Ford ‘Salute to Dealers’ award based on his honorable volunteer and fund-raising efforts.

Smith is passionate about helping people who are less fortunate both locally and overseas. Here in Kansas City, he volunteers every week at the St. James Food Kitchen. For the last 6 years he has served as director of operations for the Wednesday night servings. Throughout his time, he has cared for and served more than 40,000 poor and homeless people.

Every Sunday afternoon and Monday evening Smith can be found in Kansas City’s Jackson County Jail, counseling inmates as a chaplain’s assistant.

Smith has also been leading trips to Guatemala to assist in humanitarian aid two to three times per year for the last decade. What started as a one time mission trip, turned into a philanthropic passion and international relationship. During a trip in 2005, in addition to hardships from great community needs, he learned that the men and women had to also walk 10 to 20 miles and wait in line for hours to receive dental care. If they could walk that far, Smith decided he could too.

In 2006, Smith created the Labor of Love Walk where each year, he walks 100 miles over the course of three days to raise money for Guatemalans. Over $150,000 has been raised which has provided for needs ranging from construction needs, to four water purification systems, and even an orphanage for physically and mentally challenged orphans.

These fundraising and volunteer efforts have not gone unnoticed which is why Ford is recognizing Smith with ‘Salute to Dealers’ award. Smith serves as a role model to his co-workers, family and friends and is proof that one person can truly make a world of difference.
From left, my brother Mark; his wife, Robin; Alan Mulally, Chairman, Ford Motor Company; Phil
 Congratulations, Phil!

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