A new program combining community outreach and fundraising, called Corky’s Community Club, has been launched by the Emporia State athletic department.
The program allows businesses and organizations to sell tickets to home games and keep part of the proceeds from the sales. Arica Ahlvers, director of marketing and coordinator of the club, said that she had seen the program work at other schools and felt that ESU would be a good place for it.
“We wanted to do something to give back because it always seems like we’re asking the community for help, so this is a good way to give them a little help so that they can raise money for their organizations,” Ahlvers said.
Ahlvers said groups that sell tickets get to keep 50 percent of the profits, which makes it an effective fundraising tool, as well as hopefully increasing attendance at ESU games.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Flint Hills is taking part in the program and has been selling tickets for the ESU season opener against Fort Hays. Andrea Landgren is the executive director of BBBS.
Landgren said that a major attraction for Corky’s Community Club was the 50 percent return on sales and that she’s hoping for around 70 tickets sold by the end of BBBS’s involvement in the program.
“It was definitely a little slow to begin with, but we’ve picked up sales,” Landgren said. “I think being the first game of the season, people aren’t in the mindset of going to football games yet, so I think that’s also been difficult, but I think as the program continues it will be very successful for Emporia State.”
Ahlvers said that two other organizations have also been confirmed to sell tickets. The Olpe High School junior class is selling tickets for the second game of the season, and the Village Elementary PTO will be selling tickets for the last game. Ahlvers said that a number of other groups have applied to be a part of the program, but have not yet been confirmed for selling tickets.
“I’ve been approaching non-profit and youth teams first just because we’ve worked with the non-profits in the past,” Ahlvers said.
Mike Vaughn, senior athletic training major and trainer for the football team said that he approves of the program.
“I think it’s great. I think it’ll help out the community in multiple ways by giving back to it a little bit, as well as a really good way of putting more fans in the stands for the football games, having a lot more crowd support out there,” Vaughn said.
Tickets cost $9 and are available through Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Flint Hills, Reeble’s Country Mart North and South as well, as Price Chopper.