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Braves recognize Community Hero Smith

Kemp, Inciarte, Dickey aid founder of non-profit in delivering toys to children
MLB.com @mlbbowman

ATLANTA -- As Tanner Smith spent countless hours of his childhood confined to hospitals where his father was undergoing treatment for Stage IV Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, he developed a desire to help ill children who did not necessarily have the same option he had to occasionally leave the confines of a medical facility.

When Smith was 12 years old, he asked his mother if they could gather about 10 bags of toys and other goodies to deliver to children at a nearby hospital. Fifteen years later, he proudly runs Tanner's Totes, a non-profit organization that has delivered thousands of bags of toys throughout the country to children battling long-term illness.

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ATLANTA -- As Tanner Smith spent countless hours of his childhood confined to hospitals where his father was undergoing treatment for Stage IV Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, he developed a desire to help ill children who did not necessarily have the same option he had to occasionally leave the confines of a medical facility.

When Smith was 12 years old, he asked his mother if they could gather about 10 bags of toys and other goodies to deliver to children at a nearby hospital. Fifteen years later, he proudly runs Tanner's Totes, a non-profit organization that has delivered thousands of bags of toys throughout the country to children battling long-term illness.

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When Smith slipped away from his job as an assistant basketball coach at UNC-Charlotte on Tuesday, he drove to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Scottish Rite Hospital with the intent to deliver toy-filled tote bags to children in the same manner that he has for most of the past two decades. But this experience proved to be different, as he was surprised by the presence of Matt Kemp, Ender Inciarte, R.A. Dickey and other members of the Braves organization, who were there to help with the delivery and recognize Smith as a Community Hero.

"This was obviously a surprise," Smith said. "I appreciate those guys from the Braves coming out. I know how busy their schedule is. To come out and give back is really great, and it's really surprising."

Kemp, Inciarte and Dickey all seemed to take great delight in the opportunity to help Smith and interact with the children. This outreach was part of Community Heroes Week, an initiative for which the Braves have partnered with Fox Sports South to recognize a different charitable community member every day throughout the week.

"This is great to see what [Smith] has done," Inciarte said. "You can just see how happy the kids are, and that certainly makes us happy to be here."

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

Atlanta Braves