11/10/2018 15:10:13

Rodney, Brandon and Johnny Steven Donate Thousands of Wichita Thunder Tickets to Local Students in Honor of Fallen Deputy Robert Kunze III: Tickets Donated Through Fundraiser That has Already Raised Over $50,000 for Kunze’s Family

WICHITA, Kan., Oct. 11, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Wichita Thunder owners Rodney Steven II, Brandon Steven and Johnny Steven announced today that their rooftop fundraising effort to raise money for the family of fallen Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Deputy Robert Kunze III’s family has exceeded the initial goal of $50,000, with the total climbing daily.

Brandon Steven, owner of the largest automotive group in Kansas, expressed gratitude to the donors. “We knew there would be huge community support, but we had no idea how much. We knew we’d have a lot of people buying pairs or small groups of tickets. We didn’t expect the outpouring of local businesses buying hundreds of tickets or people from all around the country making donations when they heard about what was going on. What an inspiration!”

Steven continued, “The great thing is that we’re not finished. We still have some upper bowl tickets available. We could still raise tens of thousands of additional dollars between now and Saturday.”

“If you’d like to support Deputy Kunze’s family, please go to WichitaThunder.com, buy a $10 discounted ticket and come enjoy the game.”

The large donations led to an unexpected outcome, as many out of state donors would not be able to use their tickets. The brothers will donate those tickets to local educational heroes: Wichita-area students, parents, and teachers.

Any student, parent, or educator from a Wichita-area school can pick up complimentary tickets to Saturday night’s game at the Wichita Thunder Box Office, located at 505 West Maple, until 2:00 p.m. Saturday, while the supplies of donated tickets last.

Eldest brother Rodney Steven II, owner of Genesis Health Clubs, stressed the importance of positive role models for impressionable kids. “Every kid needs a hero. Usually for us, they are looking up to the players on the ice. We want to show the kids of Wichita some real-life heroes by honoring the legacy of Deputy Kunze and all the men and women who keep us safe every day. That’s why we’re inviting every student, plus their families and teachers out to see the game on Saturday with the generously donated tickets. We’ll all wear #ThunderBlue to show our support for law enforcement and honor the memory of Deputy Kunze.”

Deputy Robert Kunze was killed in the line of duty on Sunday, September 16. In his last moments, he heroically managed to save the lives of at least two other innocent bystanders. Deputy Kunze is survived by his wife and child.

During first intermission of Saturday’s game vs. The Allen Americans, Sheriff Jeff Easter and Deputies from the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office will accept a check on behalf of the Kunze family and the final amount of the donation will be announced. 

Sheriff Jeff Easter issued a statement: ““Thank you to the community for their overwhelming support given to the Kunze family and the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office.  I would like to personally thank the Wichita Thunder and Rodney, Brandon and Johnny for their dedication to raising money for the Kunze family. Your kindness during this tragic time is appreciated by the SCSO and the community.” 

To purchase tickets for $10 each to support Deputy Kunze’s family, visit WichitaThunder.com or call (316) 264-4625.

Photo Opportunities:

  • Sheriff’s Deputies Will Help Pass Out Complimentary Tickets to Students and Teachers
    • Thursday, 10/11 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. @ Thunder Ticket Office, 505 W Maple
  • #ThunderBlue | Arena filled with spectators dressed in blue in support of Deputy Kunze & Local Law Enforcement
    • Saturday, 10/13 7:05 p.m. @ Intrust Bank Arena
  • Law Enforcement Section | Special Complimentary Section at Game Reserved for Law Enforcement Professionals in Uniform
    • Saturday, 10/13 7:05 p.m. @ Intrust Bank Arena
  • Check Dedication Ceremony to Sheriff Jeff Easter and Sheriff’s Deputies on Behalf of Kunze Family & Announcement of Final Donation Amount
    • Saturday, 10/13 Intermission (approximately 8:00 p.m.) @ Intrust Bank Arena

Interview Requests:

Rodney, Brandon, and Johnny Steven have limited availability for interviews, by request from 7p-11p on 10/10/2018. For Brandon and Johnny, please call 316-619-0606 to schedule an interview. For Rodney, please call 316-518-2773.

Attachments

Jake McCabe, Vice President of Marketing

Genesis Health Clubs

316.681.4267

JMcCabe@genesishealthclubs.com

Wichita Thunder Logo

Left to Right: Johnny Steven, Brandon Steven, Deputy Miller, and Rodney Steven II at Wichita Ice Center Rooftop Fundraiser for Deputy Kunze Monday, October 8

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