K-State fundraising hits record

By The Mercury

K-State supporters set a record for total gifts to the department for the fifth straight year and boosted Ahearn Fund membership to unprecedented numbers, Senior Associate Athletics Director Chad Weiberg announced today.

They contributed a record $46.4 million to K-State Athletics in 2013-14, reflecting a jump of 21 percent from the previous year’s total of $36.8 million, while the number of K-Staters participating surpassed the 10,000 mark for the first time in department history to an all-time high of 10,156 members.

In just five years, outright contributions to the department have totaled $143 million, while the $46.4 million amount this year is nearly quadruple the amount raised in 2009 ($12.7 million).

“K-Staters from across the country continue to demonstrate their tremendous loyalty and amazing generosity in support of our student-athletes and coaches,” Weiberg said. “I believe there is a true understanding among K-Staters that every Ahearn Fund member and every contribution, regardless of the amount, is very important to the continued success of K-State Athletics.  All of the coaches, student-athletes and staff are extremely grateful for each and every member for their support.”

Gifts to the Ahearn Fund, which start at $50, are designated for scholarships, sports medicine, academic support, modernization of facilities and other services that directly benefit K-State student-athletes while also funding recruiting budgets and coaches salaries. The Ahearn Fund now includes members from 49 states.

Over the past five years, K-State Athletics donors have stepped up with 21 private gifts in excess of $1 million, including the largest individual donation in university history this past year, enabling the department to complete the new $18 million Basketball Training Facility, Intercollegiate Rowing Center, Mike Goss Tennis Stadium and build momentum towards the department’s comprehensive facility improvement benefitting all 450 Wildcat student-athletes. On Aug. 30, 2013, doors to the West Stadium Center at Bill Snyder Stadium, a transformational project and a facility that is an essential step in advancing K-State’s competitive future, were officially opened, while plans were unveiled this spring for Phase III of the Bill Snyder Family Stadium Master Plan — the Vanier Football Complex and North Stadium Project.

“We are grateful for the continued participation of all Ahearn Fund members,” Athletics Director John Currie said. “The grass-roots support through the Ahearn Fund and ticket purchases by our fans continue to be our largest source of revenue and remain critical in providing our student-athletes with a world-class experience.”

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