Koos' Fundraiser

Koos for Kids fundraiser moving to Milwaukee, called easier for Brewers' players

2013-04-05T06:38:00Z 2013-12-18T13:07:09Z Koos for Kids fundraiser moving to Milwaukee, called easier for Brewers' playersLINDSAY FIORI lindsay.fiori@journaltimes.com Journal Times

RACINE — Koos for Kids’ annual fundraiser for terminally ill or disadvantaged children is moving out of Racine for the first time in its nine-year history.

After years at Infusino’s, the Racine Marriott and, most recently, Festival Hall, the ninth annual Koos for Kids fundraiser will be held at the Milwaukee County Zoo June 23.

As in past years, the event will include dinner, a silent auction, raffles and appearances by Milwaukee Brewers players and coaches, according to Koos for Kids, a charity founded by Racine native and Brewers bullpen catcher Marcus “Koos” Hanel.

The move to Milwaukee is nothing personal, said Hanel, who still lives in Racine. Instead, it came down to logistics.

“The whole deal was to keep it in Racine, to bring this kind of stuff to Racine,” Hanel said. But “getting the guys to come all the way down here after a game – you know you play a game for how many hours and then you’ve gotta drive down like 50 minutes to get there and then afterwards most of those guys live in Hartland or Whitefish Bay, so it’s a long day. It was just a way of: What can we do to make it more convenient for the players?”

The Milwaukee zoo is near Miller Park, Hanel said, explaining that’s what made it a more attractive venue than Festival Hall, 5 Fifth St.

“It has nothing to do with Festival Hall in itself. I mean, they’ve been great,” Hanel said. “We’re like, ‘Man, this is a hard one to tell Rik we’re not going to be there.’”

Rik Edgar, executive director for the Racine Civic Centre, which includes Festival Hall, said he has no hard feelings and losing the fundraiser, which typically draws 1,000 people, isn’t a deathblow to civic centre venues.

Four new events are coming this spring and summer including the Belle City Brewfest and a bags/cornhole tournament, he said.

“We’re constantly looking for new things and we’re also working on a cultural series we’ll announce in the fall,” Edgar said. “Not to mention Post Prom has come back (to Festival Hall). Sometimes an event leaves and they return.”

Hanel doesn’t know if that will happen with Koos for Kids’ fundraiser. But he does know his charity plans to stay involved in Racine. For instance, Koos for Kids often gives winter coats to low-income Racine kids and also runs the Challenge Baseball League at Haban Park for children whose disabilities don’t allow them to play in a regular league.

Hanel does not disclose how much money the annual Koos for Kids’ fundraiser brings in. Tickets for this year’s event are $25 each and include zoo admission and parking. They go on sale April 15. More information can be found at koosforkids.com/events.

Copyright 2015 Journal Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(7) Comments

  1. sackmanb
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    sackmanb - April 05, 2013 12:28 pm
    Im disapointed in this as well. Sad the players making MILLIONS of $$ cant drive this way 1 day out of there life. Well now we have to drive that way. It was a nice thing for Racine to have big sports heros come to our town. I feel sad for Hanel, he is a class act.
  2. Bobby Breewick
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    Bobby Breewick - April 05, 2013 12:04 pm
    I thought this was about helping kids........not ball players. Also.....bringing up tax dollars on a story like this is just dumb!
  3. Racine Lifer
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    Racine Lifer - April 05, 2013 11:42 am
    Marcus is from Racine. His first quote is that this event was brought specifically to Racine. Yes, it benefits all of SE Wisconsin, but Marcus brought this to his hometown because Koos for Kids is his charity, along with his wife Jill's. His proud of his hometown and the event being hosted here has extreme meaning for him. Trust me.

    I'm a Brewer fan, but today I'm very disappointed. I know this isn't the only charity event the players do, but Marcus is one of them and they should have done this out of respect for him. Marcus does a ton for them. Everyone loves him, but I don't think the players thought this through. I guarantee Marcus is hurt by the fact that they are no longer willing to drive 50 minutes to his hometown. It's really kind of selfish of the players. Yes it makes for a long day, but Racine supports the Brewers big time. Shame on the players we root for in good and bad.
  4. coco52
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    coco52 - April 05, 2013 10:26 am
    This event is a fundraiser to help raise money so that the disadvantaged and terminally ill children throughout SOUTHEASTERN Wisconsin; not just Racine can be assisted. The Brewers players have been asked to come to the event; and this is NOT their event. People who have come to the event have not only been from Racine, but all over. Trying something new at another place that also gives the visitors a chance to enjoy the zoo as well. I wonder how many of you have actually come to this event in the past and support what Koos and his committee does throughout the year. Thanks to those who have been supporting and actually know what the event is about.
  5. Reasonable One
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    Reasonable One - April 05, 2013 9:31 am
    So much for the 'proximity' to Milwaukee advantage that Racine benefits from. Can you please refund our stadium tax dollars now?
  6. Winter Snowbird
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    Winter Snowbird - April 05, 2013 8:30 am
    This was founded by a Racine native to bring this to children in the Racine area. It's not convenient anymore? It's really not convenient for folks who live in Racine, after a long day at work, to go all the way to Milwaukee to catch a 7:00 game either. I'd also bet ten to one it's move convenient for the Brewers to get to Racine than it is for terminally ill or disadvantaged children and their families to get to the Milwaukee Zoo. The construction is awful and that zoo is huge for perhaps children that are not mobile.
  7. RacineTimmay
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    RacineTimmay - April 05, 2013 7:38 am
    You have got to be kidding me! So if they are moving this event, they should END the state tax that was levied against the citizens of Racine for their multi-million dollar stadium. I can not believe the pettiness of the poor multi-million dollar sports figures and what this means to terminally ill and disadvantaged children. The Brewers should be ashamed of themselves!

    Timothy M. Wheary
    City of Racine Taxpayer
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