Last weekend was one of the most charitable weekends I have seen in a long time. Saturday’s game saw the Brewers’ Wives selling tickets for the “Jerseys Off Their Backs” event, which was a lot of fun. I didn’t win a jersey, but I did contribute to charity. I heard even K-rod gave his jersey away, after clinching his 300th save! Congrats Frankie! Later that night, at a little bar far, far away in Germantown, Craig Kimbrel and a bunch of his teammates were guest bartenders raising money for Camp American Legion / Curing Kids Cancer. The Public House 53022 had raffles, drink specials, and a packed house for the event. But this still wasn’t the “big one” for me…
The big one came on Sunday for me with the 9th annual Koos for Kids Fundraiser! Their mission is to enhance the quality life for terminally ill and disadvantaged children in Southeastern Wisconsin. This year, it was held at the Milwaukee Zoo. This central location not only made it easier for more players and coaches to show up, but also made it easier for us fans who attended the game to get there in time for all of the festivities. The first thing you notice once you get into the zoo and to the building where the event is held would be the large expanse of tables, and at the back end, a bunch of tables chock full of silent auction items. I signed up for a few, really hoping to win a nice autographed photo of Burke Badenhop, but alas, I was outbid on that one.
Once the players started showing up I was back at our table to listen to the introductions. Marcus Hanel also introduced us to Jaykob, one of the kids that has benefited from Koos for Kids. This is the part where it is all too real, and you realize that if not for programs and charities like this, these kids would be in real dire straits. This is the reason I go out and try to make a difference, whether through my skills or monetary. Next year, I’m hoping to get some canvases of my photography made up and autographed to donate for their auction. That’s how I can contribute. Others, like Chris Maragos from the Seattle Seahawks, contribute through autographs, and even helping with the live auction.
After player/coach introductions and Marcus and Jaykob speaking, tables were manned and the lines were set loose. It was time for the autograph sessions. We went a bit slower this year, since our newest member of the Superfans, Baby Corey “Little Condor” Lammers was with us in his stroller. The first round included Kyle Lohse and the Great Brandon Kintzler on my team ball. Superfans Shaggy and Handy Jay both worked on canvas pieces (Jay’s is shown in the picture being signed). From there Shaggy and I skipped back to the first table while Jay and Lori and Little Condor held down the 3rd line. Fortunate for us, Shaggy and I got some coaches (Crawdaddy and Eddie Sedar), Scooter Gennett, and late-comer K-rod! I had K-rod sign a single ball on the sweet spot since it is the first ball I’ve ever had the opportunity to get signed by him.
After that, we hit up the 3rd line and got to see @JohnAxford and @JLucroy20 Jonathan Lucroy, and well as Corey “The Condor” Hart. Lori had him sign a ball, To Corey, from Corey. Not bad for your first autograph ever! It was nice seeing the Condor too. We caught up a bit while in line, and then everyone headed back for the live auction. I got a few straggler autographs even though I wasn’t supposed to (Donovan Hand and Burke Badenhop). Also got a chance to talk with the Kintzlers a bit, and admire their painting they had won in the silent auction. (it was pretty big). All in all, a lot of money was raised, the word got out, and next year I hope the Superfans can help out and donate in our own way with our talents to make the 10th annual Koos for Kids an even bigger success! Thank you Marcus Hanel, Chris Maragos of the Seahawks, Players and Coaches of the Brewers, and of course all the volunteers for making this event as great as it was.
Follow Marcus Hanel (@markoos55) and Koos for Kids (@KoosforKids) on Twitter!