For over a decade, Rasmussen Dickey Moore has sponsored Big Slick, a fun-packed weekend featuring Kansas City native celebrities supporting Children’s Mercy. RDM’s support of Big Slick began with founding member Clay Dickey’s personal experience with Children’s Mercy.
In 2009, Clay’s nephew Quinton was diagnosed with neuroblastoma at just one year old. Neuroblastoma is a type of cancer that most often affects children under five, and Quinton’s diagnosis was dire. However, after spending a year under the world-renowned care of Children’s Mercy, Quinton has been in remission for over 13 years.
Children’s Mercy was founded in 1897 by two sisters: Alice Berry Graham, a dentist, and Katharine Berry Richardson, a surgeon. Already pioneers as female doctors in the 19th century, the Berry sisters began their work with sick and poor children by renting beds and treating the children in small hospitals, as no hospital would directly admit them to practice medicine. Since then, Children’s Mercy has since grown into a top-tier network of hospitals, specialty clinics, and research institutes based in the Kansas City area.
Around the same time that Quinton was at Children’s Mercy, the concept for Big Slick was coming together. Actor and comedian Rob Riggle, a native of Overland Park, Kansas, Shawnee Mission South High graduate, and University of Kansas alum, planned to host a poker tournament to raise funds for Children’s Mercy. He reached out to a few of his other celebrity friends from the Kansas City area for help.
Actor Paul Rudd also grew up in the Kansas City area, attending Shawnee Mission West High School and KU. His mother Gloria, a volunteer at Children’s Mercy, encouraged her celebrity son to help with the fundraiser. Saturday Night Live alum Jason Sudeikis, also an Overland Park native and Shawnee Mission West grad, signed on to help as well. The three went on to recruit additional celebrities, family, and friends to help put together the tournament on a shoestring budget. The first Big Slick Celebrity Weekend and poker tournament at Harrah’s Casino in Kansas City in 2010 raised nearly $100,000 for Children’s Mercy.
Over the last decade, Big Slick has grown to include bowling tournaments, celebrity softball games, and wild entertainment from Riggle, Rudd, and Sudeikis. Kansas City, Kansas Native Eric Stonestreet and mid-Missourian David Koechner have also joined as hosts of Big Slick. Additional guests have included Will Ferrell, Selena Gomez, Will Forte, Adam Scott, and a number of Kansas City athletes including Patrick Mahomes and Eric Hosmer. From humble beginnings, Big Slick now raises over $2 million every year.
RDM Sponsors Big Slick
Since the inception of Big Slick, RDM and founding members Clay Dickey and Kurt Rasmussen have sponsored the event. Clay’s personal experience with Children’s Mercy makes the cause a natural fit, and the fact that it’s a lot of fun certainly doesn’t hurt. RDM is a Gold Sponsor of Big Slick 2021.
Big Slick strives to keep costs as low as possible to maximize the effectiveness of sponsorships and donations, allowing Children’s Mercy to provide cutting-edge therapies and innovative treatments from expert pediatric specialists. After a previous Big Slick event, a Children’s Mercy doctor reached out to Clay to demonstrate the value of the sponsorship: the dollars donated were directly used to fund a teenager’s life-saving blood transfusions and drug therapy.
Normally, Big Slick plays to packed-in crowds at Kauffman Stadium or the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Mo. With the COVID-19 pandemic not fully subsided, the celebrities presented an original online production in 2021—the Big Slick Virtually Talented Show. Sponsors hosted small watch parties, including Clay and Kurt hosting a gathering for family, friends, and coworkers on Saturday, June 12th.
Children's Mercy Hospital photo M.T. Frazier. Other photos courtesy of Big Slick and Clay Dickey.