Steven Brothers to use Wichita Thunder Opening Weekend to Raise Over $50,000 for Fallen Deputy Robert Kunze’s Family: Rodney, Brandon and Johnny Steven to Stay on Roof with Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Department Until Goal is Met
WICHITA, Kan., Oct. 08, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Fresh off of their record-setting playoff season in ’17-18, the Wichita Thunder begins their historic 27th season this weekend, facing off against the Idaho Steelheads on Friday, October 12 and the Allen Americans on Saturday, October 13. The Thunder hope to retain the momentum of their winning season last year with an even deeper playoff run in the ’18-19 season.
Rodney Steven II, owner of Genesis Health Clubs and co-owner of the Thunder with his brothers Brandon and Johnny will make accommodations to pack the house and do something for a very deserving family. “We want to fill every seat, so we’re opening sections of the arena that are usually reserved for huge events like Taylor Swift or Rolling Stones concerts.”
Brandon Steven, owner of the largest automotive dealership group in Kansas, commented on the Thunder’s legacy. “The Thunder is such a pillar of sports and entertainment in Wichita. There have been so many teams that have come and gone over the years, but the Thunder has been here all along. There aren’t many businesses, let alone professional sports franchises, that make it for 27 years in this day and age.”
What started as a way to deal with increased demand quickly grew into something larger, and a philanthropic light bulb went off. “At first this was about finding a way to let more people experience opening weekend with The Thunder, then we saw the potential to do something good for a family that has been through the unthinkable. Like everyone else in the community, we were devastated to learn about the passing of Deputy Kunze. We’re going to donate the net proceeds of all the upper bowl sales directly to his family. Once we’ve reached our goal, this will be over $50,000.”
Deputy Robert Kunze was killed in the line of duty on Sunday, September 16. In his dying moments, he managed to save the lives of at least two other innocent bystanders. Deputy Kunze is survived by his wife and child.
Steven continued, sharing that the brothers were planning on adding a personal touch to make sure every seat in the arena is filled. “We’re pulling out all of the stops. Rodney, Johnny and I are going up to the roof of the Wichita Ice Center Monday and Tuesday and we are calling every single business owner in this city until we’re at 100% capacity and we’ve raised over $50,000 for Deputy Kunze’s family. I don’t think it’s any secret we’re all pretty competitive, so we’re each taking 1/3 of the tickets and staying up there until we sell out our block. We’ll be joined by the brave men and women of the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Department, who have generously offered to help.”
Steven continued with determination: “We’ll stay up there all week if we have to. There’s rain in the forecast, but we’ve got our tents and rain gear ready to go. It may get uncomfortable, but it’s really about coming together and raising as much as we possibly can.”
Johnny Steven, owner of Eddy’s Insurance Group chimed in, “We’ve all been in the business community here in Wichita for so long that it feels like we know just about everyone, and we know that they’re all looking for a way to help. I’m looking forward to getting on the phone and connecting with a few new entrepreneurs out there. We’ll be inviting any of the business owners who buy a block of tickets for their employees to come up to our suite and network with us during the games. You never know when that next big partnership will be formed.”
Rodney added, “However long it takes, it will be good for Wichita. Good for a family in need, good for kids and good for community spirit. There’s nothing that unites a city quite like getting together and rooting on the home team. And Wichita has a great one in The Thunder.”
To purchase tickets for $10 each to support Deputy Kunze’s family, visit WichitaThunder.com or call (316) 264-4625. Rodney, Brandon, and Johnny Steven and members of the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Department can be seen on the roof of the Wichita Ice Center, downtown and visible from Kellogg Ave, starting at 5:00 a.m. Monday morning and remaining there until $50,000 is raised for Deputy Kunze’s family and the additional tickets for Wichita Thunder opening weekend are completely sold out.
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Jake McCabe, Vice President of Marketing Genesis Health Clubs 316.681.4267 JMcCabe@genesishealthclubs.com