After a much deserved week off, the RoadRunners returned to Topeka from the respective homes and got back to work. From reading to the playground and from floor hockey to the soup line, the Runners proved once again this week that big hockey players can have even bigger hearts.
On Tuesday, Operation Soup Line took place at Ag Hall for the 13th year. The annual event, aided by volunteers and donations, helps raise money for Doorstep Inc. whose mission is to help families through crisis by helping with food, clothing, shelter, and even rent. Joining local celebrities as volunteers this year was Cam Strong, Tyler Hayes, Dom Lutz, Andrew Hart, John O’Connor, JB Baker, Tyler Johnson, and Juho Niku. Throughout the five hour affair, these Runners served patrons on the soup line, bussed tables, replenished beverages, and Reggie the RoadRunner provided some much needed smiles to all in attendance. Doorstep Inc. relies on Operation Soup Line for much of its yearly fundraising and is appreciative of all donations that help them conduct their important work for our community. If you’d like to donate to Doorstep Inc., go to http://www.doorsteptopeka.org/donate.htm.
That same day, Jack Nickels, Ryan O’Connor, Marshall Bowery, Yu Hikosaka, Jeff Makowski, and Shawn Brennan read to the kids at Sheldon Head Start School. Programs like Sheldon Head Start seek to boost the ability of children to learn in a classroom setting before they become kindergartners. The Runners had a blast reading some of their favorite books and then took to the playground for nearly an hour of playtime. The kids made the most of the visit by enlisting their hockey role models on the swing sets, slides, in ball games, and even as human jungle gyms. When the dust settled, fun was had by all and both players and students alike were exhausted but happy after another successful Reading with the RoadRunners (sponsored by Cold Stone Creamery).
Tuesday afternoon, Max Harper and Quinn Preston visited Lowman Hill Elementary for the Runners Get Fit Program (sponsored by Subway and Great Life). After introductions and a quick stretch, everyone hit the gym for a game of hockey. Team Preston was a scoring machine, racking up nine goals, but they were matched at every turn by Team Harper. Eventually, the game ended in a tie and every student received their special gift bag from The Spectacle as well as a gift card from Subway.
Finally, the RoadRunners visited Williams Science and Fine Arts Magnet School on Wednesday morning before heading off to Bonner Springs for practice. Sam Tavernier, Sam Carlson, Seth Kamrass, Shawn Brennan, Marcus Russell, and Jack DeMatteo read books to kindergarten and first graders while reminding them that Super Hero Night is coming up on March 19th. Williams is using RoadRunner tickets for the game to help raise funds for their successful lab programs. The players toured the labs after the reading and were extremely impressed. After playing with the animals in the desert lab and touring the shuttle simulator in the space lab, more than one RoadRunner remarked that they wished they had gone to Williams as a kid. To find out how you can help with the Williams RoadRunner ticket fundraiser, call 785-235-7330.
If you would like your school or organization to be a part of the RoadRunners Community Outreach Programs, call785-286-7825 or visit www.topekaroadrunners.com.