Reporting Ron Matz
WESTMINSTER, Md. (WJZ)—It’s been nearly two months since legendary talk show host Ron Smith lost his battle with pancreatic cancer. But his family, fans and friends are keeping his memory alive.
Ron Matz reports they’re toasting the man known as “the voice of reason” and raising money for the fight against this deadly disease.
The big crowd came to Johansson’s Restaurant in Westminster to remember Ron Smith and toast him with a new beer.
His widow June has been overwhelmed by the support since her husband’s death in December. She says from the time Smith announced his diagnosis, she’s received 12,000 emails, thousands of cards, letters, gifts and books.
“He loved his family, of course, our dog and cat, and he loved his golf and poker, but he really loved his listening audience,” June Smith said. “They were his second family. Ron was provocative, provoking and peerless.”
Team Reason is raising money to fight pancreatic cancer. Reason Saison is the microbrew created in Smith’s honor.
“I know Ron was an avid beer aficionado. I was sad with the loss of Ron. He was part of my drive home for over a decade, so what better way to honor Ron than with a beer,” said Jay Lampart, Johansson’s brewmaster.
Smith spent 28 years at WBAL Radio and took great joy in calling himself Talk Show Man.
“What better legacy could there be for a man who gave a million thoughts and ideas to the people who listened to him all these years. Ron Smith touched thousands of lives,” June Smith said.
And Smith’s extended family known as Team Reason has already raised $38,000 for pancreatic cancer research. Their goal is $1 million.
“I want to thank Team Reason for your fellowship, your friendship and your commitment to raising money for pancreatic cancer research in Ron’s honor. Without you these events would never happen,” June Smith said.
“It’s a great feeling to see all these people come out supporting this cause,” Lampart said. “Unfortunately, pancreatic cancer is one of the most underfunded cancers, and it’s deadly.”
Two more fundraisers in memory of Smith are coming up: a dinner at Crush Restaurant in Belvedere Square is set for March 4 and a golf tournament will be held in April.