The Wichita Children’s Home has almost become accustomed to receiving an annual $15,000 check from Gregg Marshall, its CEO Debbie Kennedy said.
On Wednesday, Marshall, head men’s basketball coach at Wichita State University, presented a check for $15,000 to the home for the second consecutive year. The money comes from the Infiniti Coaches’ Charity Challenge, an online contest in which people can vote for one of 64 coaches and their charity of choice.
The top four finishers received $15,000, and the winner received $100,000.
Both this year and last, Marshall finished in the top four. This year he placed third, behind Iowa State’s Fred Hoiberg and Purdue’s Greg Painter, the winner.
“(Marshall) won because he accepted the challenge not for himself, but for the Wichita Children’s Home,” Kennedy said.
But $15,000 is not enough for Marshall, who is accustomed to winning. Both this year and next, he said he’s shooting for a $100,000 donation.
“We’re losing to a lot of big state universities that have all of the alumni in that particular state,” Marshall said. “What we’ve got to do is have a grassroots effort in Wichita and beyond. We’ve got to go next year for the gold instead of bronze.”
A group of Wichita Children’s Home boosters – and Marshall enthusiasts – are trying to raise $85,000 for the home so that Marshall’s donation can total $100,000 this year, Kennedy said.
The Wichita Children’s Home is currently raising $1.8 million to complete a capital campaign for a new campus on 37th Street North. The move will occur in January regardless of whether or not all the funds have been raised, Kennedy said.
To donate to the campaign and sign a thank-you card for Marshall, visit Tad’s Locker Room’s east- and west-side locations.
After Marshall finished delivering his remarks Wednesday, he autographed photos for about 20 children at the home.
One boy had him sign his red-and-blue plaster cast. Another girl had him sign the back of her T-shirt.
With every kid, Marshall asked where they were going to school and what their plans were for college, telling them to study hard and work to earn scholarships.
One boy told Marshall his plans to move to Haysville to work with an animal shelter.
“My mom’s got a cat, my grandma’s got a cat,” the boy said.
“You’re going to Haysville to work with the cats?” Marshall asked.
The boy nodded and Marshall gave him a high-five before autographing another smiling fan’s T-shirt.