The specially designed Royals hats Andrew Romano made as a tribute to the Kansas City Fire Department firefighters who died fighting a three-story blaze Monday will be sold to the public.
Romano, owner of Cumpy’s T-Shirt Shop, announced Wednesday morning that the KCFD Royals hats will cost $25 and that proceeds will benefit the families of Larry J. Leggio and John V. Mesh, the firefighters who were killed when a wall collapsed as they battled an inferno in the 2600 block of Independence Avenue.
“Starting (Thursday) at 10 o’clock, they’re going to go on sale to the public with proceeds going to the families,” Romano said. “There’s such overwhelming turnout for these hats. The demand is incredible.”
Romano — who delivered 48 hats to the Royals — spoke with the Leggio and Mesh families before announcing the sale.
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“I told them I was getting bombarded with people wanting these hats and that I wanted to make them and give the proceeds back to both families,” Romano said. “They were perfectly fine with that. I spoke with KCFD this morning when they picked their hats up, and they were cool with that.”
“I’m amazed and it’s absolutely crazy how this has taken off,” Romano said. “The outpour has just been tremendous.”
Romano said he’s never experienced this kind of demand for a product made in his shop, so he isn’t even completely certain how many hats he can crank out a day. (Marlins Man wore the hat at the game Thursday.)
“I’ve never had this quick of a demand for things, but I’m hoping I can put at least 100 out a day, if possible,” Romano said. “I just plan on continuing to turn them over every day. I told people, if you don’t get them tomorrow, we’ll keep making them and you can get them Friday. If we don’t get them Friday, we’ll keep making them again the next week and keep doing it over and over until everybody’s needs are met.”
Romano has heard from firehouses as far as Rhode Island and fans from many different states, inquiring about the availability of the tribute hats.
“I’ve had so many pins and posts on Facebook, I can’t even reply to all of them,” Romano said. “It’s been a great outpouring of people wanting to show their respect and their love for the fall firefighters and just KCFD in general. It’s kind of overwhelming at the same time, but, by doing this, I hope we’ll be able to raise a lot of money for the families.”
Cumpy’s is at 8118 NE U.S. 69 in Pleasant Valley. To place an order, call 816-459-8800.