GENEVA – In its fourth Annual Report to the Community, the Kane County Cougars Baseball Foundation Inc. noted that this is the first time in the 28-year history of the franchise that donations exceeded $1 million, officials announced in a news release.
The annual report details its charitable outreach completed in 2018 and lists the accomplishments of the Kane County Cougars Foundation and programs the Cougars coordinated.
The new level of donations is attributed to new charitable partnerships and to programs that have become staples in the community, the release stated.
These included Huntington Bank and the Cougars, in new program in 2018 called Huntington Helping Hand. A $5,000 donation was made to Blessings in a Backpack, a non-profit organization which feeds over 87,000 children across the U.S.
Another was Tangled Roots, the official craft beer of the Cougars, which committed $1 for every sale of 108 Double Stitch Ale at their Ottawa headquarters. Tangled Roots donated $1,182 to Trinity Services Inc.
In-game programs raised over $27,000 to support local causes. These included the Northern Illinois Food Bank, CASA Kane County, Brave Hearts for Kids, Mutual Ground and Loaves and Fishes CARES.
The Al Mueller Memorial Scholarship Fund provided $7,500 to five accounting college students.
The Ozzie and Annie Reading Scholars awarded $3,000 to six winners for the impact of their involvement with the Cougars Reading Club. The club encourages over 126,000 local students to meet reading goals with incentives such as game tickets, food vouchers and a drawstring backpack, the release stated.
In-kind donations totaled $684,812 in 2018 while in-kind donations for the Cougars Summer Reading Library program totaled $70,551.
The Cougars are committed to showing active duty military and veterans how much their sacrifices mean through a variety of organizations, including the Illinois National Guard, Operation Support Our Troops and the Veteran Tickets Foundation, with in-kind donations totaling $20,949 in 2018.
Multiple community appearances, high school seminars, clinics and events show the Cougars’ ongoing commitment to the surrounding community.
The Cougars offer programs such as senior citizen half-price tickets and food vouchers, holiday turkey distribution at the Tri-Cities Salvation Army, the annual Winter Coat Drive and a partnership with Two Men and a Truck to collect items through the Movers for Moms program.
“Our vision has always been to use the Kane County Cougars Baseball Foundation Inc. to put a smile on someone’s face,” Cougars co-owner Cheryl Froehlich stated in the release. “Reaching the million dollar fundraising mark reinforces the commitment the Cougars organization and our charitable arm has to serving our community beyond the baseball field.”
“It’s truly an honor to see the impact that the Kane County Cougars Baseball Foundation, Inc. has and will continue to make in the lives of those around us,” Cougars co-owner Dr. Bob Froehlich stated in the release.