Families of murder victims find comfort in National Day of Remembrance

September 25, 2013, by Eric Burke
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Today is a summer day for thousands of people across the metro. It was also a National Day of Remembrance for murder victims. But many families will also tell you it’s a special day — one to honor those that lost.

Six and a half years ago Chris Bartholomew was shot and killed near the intersection of 39th and Broadway. He had come to pick up friends from Westport. His death devastated his mother, but she’s been able to get through the past few years because of other families who have experienced a similar loss.

“My life stopped that day,” Misty Kirwan, mother, said. “Life as I knew it stopped that day. The National Day of Remembrance helps other people realize we’re still here.”

Kirwan tries to stay strong, but nearly seven years after her son was killed she still has bad days.

“There are some days when I don’t want to get out of bed, and I can call one of my friends that have been through this,” she said. “I just talk or cry and they really understand.”

One of the people she calls is Maria Martinez. Her brother Sam Mandacina was shot and killed in 2011. Sam managed a Northland convenience store. He offered to work a Sunday night shift for one of his employees. About 7 o’clock that night a 16-year-old walked in and shot Sam several times killing him and changing his family’s life forever.

“You instantly become so close to them because this tragic incident builds a special bond, and without them I don’t know where I’d be,” Martinez said.

Both women and their families are surviving one day at a time thanks to each other. Both think about their loved ones daily especially on this National Day of Remembrance for murder victims.

Softball tourney honors man killed in 2007 drive-by shooting

green lady bug

Chris Bartholomew innocent bystander

Published  5:34 PM CDT Sep 21, 2013
LIBERTY, Mo. —Friends and family held a memorial scholarship softball tournament to honor a man killed in a 2007 drive-by shooting.

Chris Bartholomew was an innocent bystander. He was at the corner of 39th and Broadway streets when someone opened fire.There have been few leads in the case in the last six years.Bartholomew’s mother, Misty Kirwan, said that instead of focusing energy on the fact that this is an unsolved murder, the family wanted to do something positive in his name.

The scholarship softball tournament will help high school students fulfill their dreams of going to college and going into the criminal justice field.

“It still hurts. He should be the one participating in this tournament. But, in memory of him. He’s looking down. We had our good luck sign last night. Lady bugs are lucky and Chris’ favorite color was green and we had a green lady bug,” Kirwan said.

green lady bug

Bartholomew wanted to be a police office and was enrolled in school when he was killed.


The Memory Walk 2013: A Journey Through Grief

memory walk logo

memory walk logo

The memory walk is Oct 5th.


Start: Saturday, October 5, 2013 @ 8:30 AM (CDT)

Kansas City Police Academy
6801 NE Pleasant Valley Rd
Kansas City , MO 64119
Registration Closing Date

Thursday, October 3, 2013 @ 11:59 PM (CDT)

You can register at the link below.


If you would like to walk in Memory of Chris Bartholomew in the place where it says team name put “Team Chris B”

Press Release-Chris Bartholomew Memorial Scholarship Softball Tournament 2013




$150 entry fee + $20 ASA fee if your TEAM NAME is not registered with ASATHIS IS AN ASA SANCTIONED TOURNAMENT.

*You can use ASA, USSSA & NSA BATS

*Rosters & any money owed must be turned in before the start of the 1st game. So please arrive in time to get your rosters signed & turned in! IF YOUR ROSTERS ARE NOT TURNED IN YOU WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO START YOUR 2ND GAME UNTIL IT IS COMPLETE AND TIME TAKEN WILL BE DEDUCTED FROM YOUR GAME TIME

* $5 Home Run Derby

* You can pay $5 for each additional home run over the ASA limit if you do not want to take the out.
Home runs allowed: Men’s C-3; Men’s rec-1; co-ed-1.

*We have some great raffle items!

*1st & 2ND place teams in each division get awards.Here are a few of the ASA rules that we felt were important. We will provide a list at the tournament:
*Count starts with one ball & one strike (1&1)

*Teams must furnish their own ASA approved balls. Men’s: New 12″ optic yellow red-stitched .52 core/300 compression with ASA logo. Women’s: the 11″ 44 core/375 compression ball. Must have men’s & women’s balls for co-ed (balls are sold at the field).

*Men’s teams must start & finish with of 9 players. The open batting positions will not be declared an out unless as a result of an ejection. Same for Co-ed except you must take an out for the missing player.

**New for 2011-the ball must be delivered with a perceptible arc and reach a height of at least 6 feet from the ground while not exceeding a height of 10 feet from the ground.
*All bats must be certified. A current listing is on at www.softball.org


Scholarship Details
The scholarship was established in memory of Chris Bartholomew, a 2004 graduate of North Kansas City High School. Chris was a young man with many goals; one was to work as a police officer. Chris worked a full-time job and when to college, studying Criminal Justice, to make this dream come true. However, on May 20, 2007, a senseless act of violence not only cut Chris’s hopes and dreams short, it cut his life short. Chris played sports beginning at age 5, from t-ball to baseball, football and soccer. He played adult softball up until the time of his death and this is what he loved; any and all sports!

This scholarship will help an area high school student achieve their goals of attending college. The main criteria for the scholarship are that the student be going into the Criminal Justice Field and that they play sports. We also require a short essay, along with transcripts.

In the past 3 years, the scholarship has awarded 2 – $1000.00 scholarships. Our goal for the 2013 Chris Bartholomew Tournament is to raise enough to double this already outstanding achievement and award 2 – $1000.00 scholarships for the years to follow.

Last year’s tournament represented 11 men’s and co-ed teams, and over 200 people. Posters and flyers for the tournament are locally posted on ball fields, businesses, and on several websites to attract as many teams to join as possible.

Last year, players even came from Nebraska to help raise money for our cause.

Acceptable offerings for sponsorships include prizes for the raffle, cash donations, and the opportunity to have your business recognized on the fields. We would be happy to pass along any specials you would like to offer our attendees, such as, flyers or coupons, food or drinks specials, etc. All sponsors receive special acknowledgement for their generous involvement in the sign-up packets provided to each attendee.

In addition, the local media has lent Chris’s cause their support with coverage of the tournament. We send a press release prior to the tournament date to keep Chris’s story alive and help extend our resources to provide individuals with the knowledge of the events to the public.

Would you like to sponsor Chris’s softball tournament? Sponsorships available!


Sponsorship Price Range and Recognition
Field Sponsorship:
$300.00 – 4’ x 8’ Signage on a field and Acknowledgement on Bracket Sheet; 5 fields available
Dugout Sponsorship:
$150.00 – 2’ x 4’ Signage in a dugout and Acknowledgement to players to go to “xyz’s signs dugout;” 10 available (if more than 10 are sold, signage will post on fencing
Outfield Sponsorship:
$200.00 – 3’ x 5’ Signage on the fencing in the outfield; unlimited available
All Signage will be on a quality vinyl banner, professionally printed with your logo.
*Logos must be sent by email in a format that allows editing capabilities for enlarging purposes only.
Contact Misty Kirwan (816) 305-6893
Angi Mattivi (816) 739-9315


Chris Bartholomew Memorial Scholarship Softball Tournament
September 21, 2013
Fountain Bluff Sports Complex, Liberty, MO MAPQUEST DIRECTIONS
Men’s competitive, Rec & Co-Ed divisions
Home run derby with some great prizes!

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