Last year, it was Alex Smith. This year, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Springfield are connecting with another Kansas City Chiefs player for its largest annual fundraiser.
Travis Kelce has agreed to come to Springfield as the featured speaker for the 22nd annual Steak & Steak Dinner and Charity Auction on April 10 at University Plaza Convention Center, according to a news release from the nonprofit. The Chiefs’ tight end is a three-time Pro Bowl selection, and he’s emerged as a team leader in his five years with the club.
It’s the third straight year a football player has delivered the fundraising event’s keynote. In 2016, Boys & Girls Clubs brought in former St. Louis Rams quarterback Kurt Warner, and 700 people attended to raise more than $144,000.
The current numbers to beat are $290,000 and more than 1,000 people. Those are the fundraising and attendance figures tabulated during Smith’s appearance last year.
Past Steak & Steak Dinner guests include Nick Saban, Brett Favre, Tony La Russa, Lance Armstrong, Drew Brees, Bob Knight, Tony Gonzales, Dick Vitale and Peyton Manning.
In choosing Kelce, Boys & Girls Clubs officials credited his philanthropic efforts in the Kansas City area, most notably his Eighty-Seven and Running foundation. According to 87Running.org, the organization aims “to change the outcomes of underserved youth in communities across the U.S. by creating access to opportunities, enrichment and advancement.” Through a campaign called Catching for a Cause,” Kelce helped raise money for an after-school program for children and families in poverty, the release said.
He’s also gained popularity off the field for his reality television show, “Catching Kelce,” which ran for a single season in 2016, according to IMDb.com.
Boys & Girls Clubs serves more than 2,500 registered members in the Springfield area – many from disadvantaged circumstances. According to the release, the funds raised will help cover members’ club fees and program costs to provide youth with daily social, physical and educational development activities.
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