As a juvenile court counselor for Department of Juvenile Justice, Tonda Chambers-Kee sees firsthand what happens when kids head down the wrong path. That's why Tonda wanted to nominate her husband of 13 years, Tony Kee, as a Mo's Hero.
"This is nothing he would seek out. In fact, he's the guy who never tries to get attention for all that he does. But honestly, if we had more men like my husband reaching out and caring for kids, it might put the Department of Juvenile Justice out of business," she told me.
Tony is tireless, according to Tonda. He's a very hard worker, has been with Allstate 19-plus years. But when he DOES have free time, Tonda says, he's working to make Gaston County a better place to live.
"He's the guy, when no one is watching, he is helping," Tonda told me by phone.
Like in Gaston County schools, instead of your traditional 'class mom' he is 'class dad' for their daughter Kameron's class! And he's always helping out at his step-daughter's high school, Ashbrook High School in Gastonia.
"He was Vice President of the Booster Club, helping fundraising so they had money for trips, and all the things they needed. He even goes by the school on Sunday afternoons just to make sure everything is ready for the kids for the upcoming week…He is compelled to give back. He knows the impact it can have on a kid's life," she told me, so much passion in her voice, it made me smile.
Tony Kee seems to understand what that outreached hand to a child can mean in the long run. Tonda says during the holidays you'll find Tony packing his car and dropping off presents to charities to make sure kids have something to open on Christmas morning.
Even during games, she said, you might find Tony at the concession stand. "He'll notice the kid who doesn't have money for a hot dog…Tony will tell them, 'Don't worry kid, this one is on me!' she described.
"As a juvenile court counselor I'm dealing with kids who may not have had that good role model, who made bad choices and broke the law. We are trying to give them resources to turn their lives around," she said. "But Tony is dealing with kids who are making the right choices. What I know from my job, there are just not enough men out there stepping up and reaching the young people! There are not a lot of dads that want to help out and do their part."
Tony Kee, thanks for being a quiet hero. Your gift of time and support to all those kids will pay off. Not that we want to put your wife out of a job…but perhaps others will follow your lead and step up to the plate and give time to kids who need it. Keep hitting it out of the park Tony. You're my kind of hero!
If you'd like to nominate someone to be a Mo's Hero, send me a message on my Facebook page.