K-STATE ATHLETICS AND VFW FOUNDATION ANNOUNCE PARTNERSHIP TO SUPPORT MILITARY

K-STATE ATHLETICS AND VFW FOUNDATION ANNOUNCE PARTNERSHIP TO SUPPORT MILITARY

Wildcat Connection Marks First-Ever Involvement with a D-1 Program

MANHATTAN, Kan. (Dec. 22, 2011) – K-State Athletics and K-State Sports Properties announced today a brand-new partnership with the Veterans of Foreign Wars Foundation, providing Wildcat fans a unique way to honor America’s military throughout the 2011-’12 basketball season. This marks the first time the VFW Foundation has partnered specifically with a Division I institution.

Throughout the season, fans can pledge their support for each free throw made by K-State through the Return the Favor Charity Stripe Campaign. Fans can make a donation by visiting www.ksucharitystripe.com or Varney’s Bookstore in Aggieville. Varney’s will match each dollar that is donated. Fans can also make a one-time gift by texting “RETURN” to 90999 for a $10 donation.

All proceeds generated by K-State fans and corporate partners throughout the men’s basketball season will benefit the VFW Foundation’s Return the Favor campaign, which honors, celebrates and supports active-duty military members, veterans, and their families. Return the Favor supports programs and services that provide emergency financial assistance for military families, free phone calls for service members overseas, morale boosting events for military units, VIP treatment for troops and their families at entertainment events, and critical services that help guide veterans through VA entitlement claims.

Current K-State corporate partners already pledging their support of the Return the Favor Charity Stripe Campaign are Briggs Auto Group, The Eye Doctors, Manhattan Regional Airport, Varney’s Book Store, Community First National Bank, Rev Honey Beverages, Manhattan Town Center, Bud Light and Flint Hills Beverage. All corporations who have donated to the campaign will be honored with a check presentation to the VFW Foundation on February 7th during halftime of the K-State game against Texas Tech.

“The relationship between Kansas State University and Ft. Riley is really unique and unsurpassed,” said Athletic Director John Currie. “This partnership with the VFW Foundation is a natural extension of that existing relationship, and we believe our fans will knock this out of the park in terms of monetary support for an outstanding organization that truly helps our military members, veterans and their families.”

The VFW Foundation partnership was secured through K-State Sports Properties, the multimedia rights holder for K-State Athletics. Last month, the VFW Foundation made its first foray into collegiate sports marketing by forming a similar partnership with MVC Sports Properties, a conference-wide initiative for VFW Foundation and the 10 Missouri Valley Conference member schools. MVC and K-State are both represented by Learfield Sports, which manages the multimedia rights for more than 50 collegiate institutions and associations.

“This is a very unique partnership in college athletics, “said John Lowe, Director for the Kansas City, Mo.-based VFW Foundation. “I was extremely impressed with the fact that the entire Manhattan community has gotten behind this effort and find the university’s connection with Ft. Riley and the entire region amazing.”

About the Veterans of Foreign Wars Foundation:
The Veterans of Foreign Wars Foundation is the official charity of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW), America’s largest organization for combat veterans. Its mission is to support programs and services that provide emergency financial assistance for military families, free phone calls for deployed troops, VIP treatment for service members and their families at entertainment events, morale boosting events for military units, and critical services that guide veterans through VA entitlement claims. The VFW Foundation is one of the nation’s highest rated 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations. For more information, please visit www.vfwfoundation.org. Its Return the Favor campaign is an awareness and fundraising effort to honor, celebrate, and support active-duty military, veterans, and their families. For more information, please visit http://www.returnthefavor.org/.

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