When former Kane County Board Chairman Phil Elfstrom and County Board members in the late 1980s made efforts to bring a minor-league baseball franchise to Kane County, they envisioned an entertainment and economic development opportunity that would benefit the community for many years to come.
But even the most visionary folks of that generation might not have considered that the baseball organization would someday be able to give back more than $700,000 in charitable and in-kind donations in a single calendar year.
That’s exactly what the Kane County Cougars Foundation shows it did in its second annual report to the community for 2016.
The Kane County Cougars Foundation, Inc. released the report today (Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017), detailing the charitable outreach completed in the previous calendar year. The report lists the accomplishments of the foundation and the notable programs coordinated by the Cougars.
Examples of Cougars Charity
The 50/50 Raffle and the Acres Group Pitch-In for Charity are two in-game programs that contribute a portion of their proceeds to benefit specific charities selected by the Kane County Cougars Foundation. In 2016, these two programs generated more than $27,000 to support local causes including Anderson Animal Shelter, Hesed House, People’s Resource Center-DuPage County, West Suburban Community Pantry, Rush-Copley Foundation and YWCA Victims Support Services of Naperville.
A new charitable contribution for the 2016 season included the Paramount Fence Home Run for Charity. For every home run that was hit by a Cougars player at home, Paramount Fence made a donation to Emmanuel House in Aurora which was then matched by the Cougars organization, raising a total of $1,900.
Ozzie’s Home Run and Walk 5K generated funds for the Ozzie’s Scholars program, which awarded $3,000 in scholarships to local students as well as the Waubonsee Community College Foundation. The Cougars Legacy Brick Program shares proceeds with the Wounded Warrior Project and the Kane County Cougars Foundation was pleased to present them with over $1,900 in 2016.
Each year the Cougars Reading Program encourages over 140,000 local area students to meet reading goals with incentives such as game tickets, food vouchers and a drawstring backpack. In-kind donations for Ozzie’s Reading Club totaled $562,207 last year.
Through a variety of military organizations including the Illinois National Guard, Operation Support Our Troops, Rolling Thunder Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans and the Veteran Tickets Foundation, the Kane County Cougars Foundation presented in-kind donations for Military Recognition totaling $14,689 in 2016.
Various other in-kind donations, community appearances, high school seminars, clinics, events and the Cougars on-going commitment to the senior citizen community added to the overwhelming donation total that the Kane County Cougars Foundation was able to provide in support of organizations across Kane County and the surrounding area. The Cougars hope to continue this outreach and remain active in giving back to its supporters and community members.
2016 Sparkler Award Winner
“As recipients of the prestigious Kane County ‘Sparkler Award’ which recognizes commitment to charitable work in the surrounding community, it’s important to us as an organization that we continue to find new ways to give back to the local organizations that help our community day in and day out,” said Cougars owner, Cheryl Froehlich.
“We are proud to once again share this information with our local community,” added Cougars owner, Dr. Bob Froehlich. “We are humbled by the generosity that has allowed us to support these initiatives and look forward to continuing our charitable outreach in the coming season.”