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Koyotes Kare Foundation helping non-profits raise funds

Koyote clinics work with kids on football and relationship skills

There’s more to football than playing football, says Nick Baumgartner, owner of the Kansas Koyotes Indoor Football Team. It involves making a difference in the community.

The way the Koyotes do that is through the Koyotes Kare Foundation, which works with community organizations and other non-profit groups in encouraging healthy living, good citizenship and behavioral skills. The foundation also has a program to help raise funds for other non-profit groups.

The way the program works is by the Koyotes providing non-profit groups discounted tickets to sell at $10.00 (regular price $16), and the organization keeps half ($5 per ticket). As a bonus, if the group sells more than 100 tickets, they receive $6 per ticket. The rest of the money goes to the Koyotes Kare Foundation to use in local activities and events such as kids camps, collecting school supplies and tickets for underprivileged children.

One organization that has made good use of the program is the Boy Scouts. Matt Stuchlik, Shawnee Senior Executive at Jayhawk Area Council, said the program worked great for them.

“We promoted it through our different units, collected money and gave out ticket vouchers, then kept half of the money,” Stuchlik said. “It was pretty easy, and we made a pretty nice chunk of money.”

The Koyotes officials made it simple, Stuchlik said.

“They were real easy to work with, and we are planning on doing it again,” he said.

Other organizations the Koyotes Kare Foundation has worked with include Boys & Girls Club, Topeka Rescue Mission, Farley Elementary, Scranton Elementary, IBSA and Cumulus, as well as several youth groups and youth football teams. One youth football team earned over $600 for their team, Baumgartner said.

The next upcoming event for Koyotes Kare Foundation will be a Football Clinic on Saturday, August 9, from 9 am to 1 pm at Boys and Girls Club, 550 SE 27th Street.  Registration will begin at 8:30am. The event is for ages 8-17, and will teach football skills, sportsmanship and physical fitness.

Baumgartner said the Koyotes Kare program has been a great success, and has been copied by other teams in Salina and Dodge City.

Koyotes Kare is a reflection of the Koyotes organization as a whole, said Baumgartner. One of the major reasons for purchasing the team was for community involvement, he noted.

“It also is reflected in the way we recruit players,” he said. “We recruit based on not only football skills, but character and willingness to be involved in the community. Last year we had 28 guys and zero arrests for the year — and that’s unheard of in professional sports.”

As another example, Koyotes quarterback Carlos Cavanagh recently spent considerable time with a girl who was bitten by a snake on Easter and was in ICU for two weeks. The Koyotes Krave Dance Team is also a part of the Koyotes Kare Foundation activities, and can be seen at many local events as well as cheer camps. They also have their own Facebook page for community interaction.

The Koyotes team has undergone some changes this season to become better and more competitive, Baumgartner said. The number of home games will increase to eight this year, all on Saturday nights, and there will be more local players. This was accomplished by becoming an independent team. The team will no longer compete in a league, but will play other teams from around the country. Baumgartner expects this to increase the excitement at each game and allow for more community involvement.

“I encourage everyone to get involved with the Koyotes, the Koyotes Kare Foundation, and get involved in your community,” Baumgartner stated.

The Koyotes season will begin in March 2015. Stay connected via Facebook at KSKoyotes  or on Twitter @Kansas_Koyotes.

To take part in the Koyotes Kare program or find out more, call 383-4965 or go to www.koyoteskare.org.