Cowboys Give Back: OSU alumni and students participate in Cowboys for a Cause
Thursday, April 27, 2023
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Living by the unique Cowboy culture means constantly striving to uphold the Cowboy Code, which defines hard work, integrity and grit.
The Oklahoma State University Alumni Association hosted Cowboys for a Cause to provide an opportunity for all members of the Cowboy family to accomplish acts of service to better the communities in Oklahoma and beyond.
Cowboys for a Cause inspired nearly 200 students and alumni to give back to the communities they live in. Volunteers impacted more than 10 community organizations across Stillwater, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Altus, Noble County, Kansas City and North Texas.
In Oklahoma City, Kelley Newkirk Konarik, OKC Metro OSU Alumni Chapter president, said their Cowboys for a Cause event was hosted to benefit Special Olympics of Oklahoma for their winter games.
“It was so wonderful to work with these kids,” Newkirk Konarik said. “We volunteered with the Unified Bowling event. Each volunteer worked at a bowling lane, we had things to hand out and we made so many new friends.”
For Newkirk Konarik, building connections with the kids was what made the experience worthwhile.
“I think it is so important to get out in the community and give back,” Newkirk Konarik said. “We have so much with the Alumni Association as far as membership engagement, it was good for us to give back to the community and be able to provide a service to the athletes. We probably converted half of the athletes to Cowboy fans by the end of the day.”
In Stillwater, volunteers had the opportunity to serve at the Humane Society of Stillwater, Our Daily Bread and the Saville Center for Child Advocacy. Volunteers cleaned up the facilities of both the Humane Society and the Saville Center. At Our Daily Bread, volunteers assisted community members in shopping and helped sort food donations.
The Jackson/Harmon County Chapter hosted a supplies drive to collect items to benefit Booker’s Place and the Stephen E. Booker Foundation. The drive collected 300 items valued at $1,250 to benefit the cause.
In Tulsa, members of the Cowboy family walked dogs and collected supplies for the animals at Tulsa SPCA. The Tulsa Chapter collected close to 220 pounds of food, treats, leashes, collars, toys and dog coats.
The Noble County Chapter hosted an opportunity for volunteers to benefit the Perry Recycling Center. Volunteers came to the center to assist with general recycling or electronics recycling.
A little further from Stillwater, the Kansas City Chapter volunteered at Harvester’s Food Bank. Volunteers worked together to sort and re-package donations for the warehouse before they are distributed to numerous pantries throughout the region.
The North Texas Chapter supported the Bridge Homeless Recovery Center, a shelter providing services to the homeless population in Dallas. Fifty people came out to support the Bridge, but one special incoming student made a huge impact. Parker Fort, a senior at McKinney North High School, and his father, Darren, donated 40 backpacks filled with necessities for clients of the Bridge.
“My dad was looking for somewhere to donate extra backpacks he had from his work,” Fort said. “I love the feeling I get when I get to give back and help those in need. It warms my heart. I’ve always liked volunteering, but I have gotten more into it as I realized how much of an impact I can make.”
Although Fort hasn’t officially started his journey at OSU, he is a firm believer of alumni and students participating in Cowboys for a Cause. He said it is a great opportunity to give back.
“It is especially great when you are on campus and can give back to the community of Stillwater,” Fort said. “OSU has given us a great opportunity at life and giving back. Anyone that wants to help should go to a Cowboys for a Cause event.”
Cowboys for a Cause
Nearly 200 students and alumni were inspired to give back to the communities they
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Story By: Jillian Remington | STATE Magazine