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Kickballing Colorado legislators raise $15k for hurricane victims

Author: Joey Bunch - October 13, 2017 - Updated: October 13, 2017

legislators Kickball
Reps. Tracy Kraft-Tharp, right, and Susan Lontine play the ball in a legislative kickball game for the American Red Cross on Oct. 2. (Photo by Alyson McClaran, courtesy of MSU Denver)


Don’t say Colorado legislators didn’t do anything good during their two-day special session this month, though two attempts to fix a costly mistake in a new law went nowhere.

Some of them raised almost $15,000 for hurricane victims dueling on the kickball field on a cold, rainy Monday night in the first Bipartisan Charity Legislative Kickball Game.

Walmart donated $10,000 for disaster relief through the American Red Cross to sponsor the game with support from Metropolitan State University of Denver. Each legislator who played in the game raised or donated at least $100.

“When we learned that the Colorado legislature was looking for a place to host a charity kickball game, we jumped at the chance to offer our Regency Athletic Complex,” MSU Denver President Janine Davidson said in a statement. “This event allowed us to support the state legislature’s effort to raise funds for hurricane relief, while also showcasing this important community resource to others who may not be aware of it.”

Ryan Irsik, who handles public affairs and government relations for Walmart stores in Colorado, spoke of the company’s overall commitment to helping storm victims.

“Walmart is proud to support the Colorado legislature and disaster relief efforts through the American Red Cross,” he said. “We hope that our commitment of over $35 million in relief will help with the many challenging days of recovery and rebuilding ahead.”

legislator kickball
Captains of the first Bipartisan Charity Kickball Game were, from left, Rep. Dan Nordberg, R-Colorado Springs; Rep. Alec Garnett, D-Denver; Sen. Owen Hill, R-Colorado Springs, and Sen. Dominick Moreno, D-Commerce City.

Reps. Dan Nordberg, R-Colorado Springs, and Alec Garnett, D-Denver, as well as Sens. Owen Hill, R-Colorado Springs, and Dominick Moreno, D-Commerce City, organized the game.

“This gift means someone has shelter, food, water and comfort today,” Gino Greco, CEO for the American Red Cross of Colorado and Wyoming, said in a statement. “It means that on someones darkest day, there is hope. The response to multiple hurricanes along the coast continues, through the generosity of donors like this incredible group of Representatives and our partners at Walmart. This gift is alleviating human suffering, and we want to say thanks.”

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch is the senior political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has a 31-year career in journalism, including the last 15 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and is a two-time Pulitzer finalist. His resume includes covering high school sports, the environment, the casino industry and civil rights in the South, as well as a short stint at CNN.