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Kenmore Air agrees to shuttle teen between father's funeral and state championship game

Kenmore Air has made if possible for a young girl to attend both her father's memorial and her state championship basketball game. (Image courtesy Julie Spencer)

A Washington teen trying to deal with the recent death of her father was faced with an even tougher situation when it ended up her father's memorial was going to be on the same day her team might be playing in the high school girl's basketball state championship hundreds of miles away.

Julie Spencer, one of 10 kids, says her family was flying in from all over the country, so the service couldn't be rescheduled. There were no commercial flights between the two areas she needed to travel. Her coach reached out to KIRO Radio's Dori Monson on her behalf, and Monson shared her story on the show.

Many people called wanting to help, but few had the means to do so. That was until local airliner Kenmore Air said they'd step up. Even though winter is a lean time of year for them, they said getting Julie to her state tournament was worthy of the effort.

"Julie is the kind of kid you want to help and root for, so we look forward to helping her out," says Todd Banks, President of Kenmore Air. "Kenmore is a family business and the values associated with that are important to us."

Dori delivered the news to Julie on Wednesday's show. The junior at W.F. West High School says she's incredibly grateful to Kenmore Air for making this happen for her.

"I can't believe it," says Julie. "I'm so overwhelmingly appreciative."

"We've been waiting the whole season to get to where we are now," she says. "It's bittersweet. It's hard to think about both things, but it's a good distraction for me."

Kenmore Air is now coordinating with her coach to make sure that if her team makes it to the championship with wins Thursday and Friday, she'll be able to play in the game and attend her father's memorial.

"Having somebody at this time of their life, being in high school and going to a state tournament, it's such a defining part of life," says Banks. "We hope she can go over there and light it up."

Original story:Washington high school player trying to get from father's funeral to state championship

The Dori Monson Show on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM

Listen to Dori Monson every weekday at 12noon on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM. Seattle's News, Seattle's Talk.

Dori Monson on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM

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About the Author


Whether it's floating on Green Lake, eating shrimp tacos at Agua Verde, or taking weekend drives out to the Cascades, she loves to enjoy the Pacific Northwest lifestyle as much as humanly possible.

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