Following the Seahawks’ playoff win over the New Orleans Saints on Jan. 11, Seattle special education teacher Kevin Zelko — a part-time beer vendor at CenturyLink Field — decided to put his beer money to good use.
“I decided to put the extra cash aside and buy four or five of my kids jerseys who could never afford a Seahawks jersey,” Zelko told USA Today.
Zelko’s fundraising effort skyrocketed from there, as he created a campaign on the crowdfunding website GoFundMe, and social media news website Mashable ran a story about his drive.
“After that, donations went from $600 to $1,000 in about an hour,” Zelko said. “At that point it kept snowballing, $2,000, $3,000. I got on a flight and by the time I landed, it had gone from $3,000 to $5,000.”
With donations topping $20,000 as of Wednesday, Zelko decided to purchase jerseys for each of the 447 students at Kimball Elementary, an inner-city school.
“The ability to keep everybody included in something that the entire city is talking about is really powerful,” he said. “The smiles on their faces when they get a Seahawks jersey will be very impressive, and many of the kids will remember this for the rest of their lives.”
Zelko was able to use his stadium employee discount to buy the jerseys. “Being a beer vendor has its perks,” he said.
Zelko has ordered a mix of Marshawn Lynch, Russell Wilson, Richard Sherman and No. 12 “Fan” jerseys for his students.
The first child to put on a Sherman jersey reportedly proclaimed himself “the smartest kid in the country” while dismissing his peers as “sorry students.”
■ PANTIE TOSS — Don’t get your panties in a bunch. Or bras or boxers, for that matter. They won’t fly as far that way.
We’re paraphrasing here, but that’s one piece of advice offered by the ECHL’s Bakersfield (Calif.) Condors in advance of their “Undie Sunday” promotion, which will take place during their April 13 home game against the Wranglers.
Similar to a “Teddy Bear Toss” — only this one can be done with a teddy — when the Condors score their first goal, fans are encouraged to chuck their underwear onto the ice for donation to charity.
“In talking with local nonprofits, it is quite clear that there is a need of undergarments for the economically challenged,” Bakersfield team president Matthew Riley said. “We thought this would be a fun way to bring attention to that fact, and hopefully raise some significant donations. Who doesn’t like to throw things on the ice?”
To avoid potential disaster, the Condors are urging fans to toss only unused undergarments onto the ice, as they “will fly better if still in the packaging … duh!”
According to the Condors, “Undie Sunday” should be pronounced “un-dee, sun-dee.” For the Wranglers’ sake, we can only hope they don’t get hit by any, um, used “tight-ee, white-ees.”
Any perpetrator of that act should be debriefed on the spot.
■ DON’T STOP BELIEBING — As if the Stars’ 7-1 drubbing of the Maple Leafs on Thursday night wasn’t bad enough, Dallas taunted Toronto by posting Justin Bieber’s mug shot on its Jumbotron above the caption, “Maple Leafs fan.”
COMPILED BY TODD DEWEY LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL