The Price of Fame – and its Value

Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame Kim Ketola Induction 2013

Kim Ketola Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame Induction

Kim Ketola Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame Induction

I am deeply humbled and grateful to the Pavek Museum for honoring me with a place in the Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame.

Here is the text of my remarks at the September 29 Induction Ceremony:

Recently USA Today ran a story on Pastor Daryl Strawberry. Maybe you remember when he played for the St. Paul Saints in 1996? His prospects as a player revived here in the Twin Cities. He went on to win three World Series rings in New York before cocaine and cancer ended his career in 1999.

Today he’s clean and cancer-free. But none of those rings were on display during his interview with USA Today. No vestige of his eight All-Star appearances. In fact, he told the reporter that Darryl Strawberry was dead. He never wanted to go back to the life he had lived as a big hitter. He drew no satisfaction from all the accomplishments he’d racked up because the cost of fame was so high. He’s spending his life now serving others.

Now I surely don’t put myself in the same league as Darryl Strawberry—even when he was with the St. Paul Saints!

But I would like to say that Kim Jeffries is dead also.

There was a time when I was so focused on achieving success that I let that drive decisions which should have been strictly a matter of the heart. I had walked off from Northwestern University after two years, so when I finally buckled down and paid my dues at Brown Institute I was determined to succeed. Well I got my start at WJON in St. Cloud. Thanks, Tom Kay for giving me my first break in radio! And then came KS95–my dream, my own show in my own hometown. Thanks, John Mayasich for giving me a shot in the bigs, and to Ginny Morris and Chuck Knapp and that great team that was so dominant in the 80’s and 90’s—and today!

But a crisis struck just three months into my new job at KS95 when I realized I was pregnant, and I was not married. You’ve heard the expression that someone would kill for a career, well I actually did that—taking the life of an innocent child in order to protect my reputation and what I perceived as my future earning power. I was finally able to come to terms with what I had done twenty-three years later when I understood how God forgives even our worst mistakes and our greatest failures. He’s been teaching me to value people over success ever since. And drawing me to use the skills and experience I’ve developed to help others who find themselves in circumstances like I experienced.

God gave me this second chance while during my time at WCCO—thanks to Ted Canova for taking on a TV greenhorn, and to Chuck Dickemann for bringing me to WCCO-AM. Eventually in 2008 I stopped using the name Kim Jeffries altogether while serving at KTIS. Paul Ramseyer and Dick Whitworth, Dr. Alan Cureton and Paul Virts, offered such great support there, but eventually I stepped out of radio to write a book published last year called Cradle My Heart, Finding God’s Love After Abortion. I hope you’ll buy a copy! It’s a fundraiser for the pregnancy help movement working every day helping women and couples to do the right thing.

I know the statistics and so I know some of you in this room also have a similar fatal mistake in your past. I hope you’ll be encouraged.

My sister Cynthia

Kim, Cynthia Walls Warbritton

As the story of Kim Jeffries came to an end, God began a whole new chapter of my life in 2009 by giving me the opportunity to become a living organ donor. He changed my story from one who took a life to one who gave a life-saving gift. I’m not bragging—God made the kidney, all I did was say yes to someone in need. That someone is my sister Cynthia, who travelled from Arizona to be with us tonight and I’d like to honor her and and say how much I love you, Cyb.

And I’d also like to let you know that I’m back on the air. I invite you to tune in to Cradle My Heart Radio—we air Sundays at 8 on Faith 900 KTIS-AM and a number of other stations around the US. Each week we offer hope and healing to those who listen. The program is a public service which couldn’t happen without the good folks at KTIS.

Bruce Ketola, Addie and Brian Michlitsch, Kim

Bruce Ketola, Addie & Brian Michlitsch, Kim

And of course I wouldn’t be here without the love and support of my husband, Bruce, my family and friends. Some of them are here tonight, including my daughter Addie and her fiance Brian representing our four kids who sacrificed a lot as I pursued my career in their growing-up years.

Sherly Ramstad, Cynthia, Lee Larson, Dave & Sandy Frauenshuh

Sherly Ramstad, Cynthia, Lee Larson, Dave & Sandy Frauenshuh

I also want to thank my dear friend Sheryl Ramstad, who was so generous to help me connect with the faith community in the TwinCities–great folks like Dave and Sandy Frauenshuh from Minnesota Prayer Breakfast also here tonight.

Sheri Peterson, Addie, Brian, Kim

Sheri Peterson, Addie, Brian, Kim

I’m grateful for friends Sheri and Dave Peterson who have been so supportive, and Paul Ramseyer from KTIS–you know my deep appreciation and thanks.

To each one of them, and to you, I offer my heartfelt thanks for this award.

To God be the glory.

 

2 comments

  1. That is awesome, Kim.

    1. Thank you! Appreciate your support.

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