SALINA – The Salina Liberty in partnership with First Bank Kansas and the Salina Police Department are pleased to announce the first recipient of the “Golden Football” Program during its inaugural year.
This program was created to recognize and highlight the achievements of the youth of Salina and the surrounding communities who performed random acts of kindness for others, or displayed qualities and characteristics that had a positive impact for others in their home town. The first receipt of the “Golden Football Program” is 11-year-old Parker Cappel who is a Salina native. Cappel was presented with his award by Salina Police Chief Brad Nelson at a press conference Thursday afternoon.
Every year, there are a few children from Salina that attend Camp Systole every summer located in Kansas City. This is a camp for kids with serious heart defects which happens to be free for all participants. Camp Systole is staffed with cardiac nurses and counselors that donate their time and give back to the children and families of those that are affected with serious heart conditions, having serious heart conditions that have required three surgeries, Parker himself has attended Camp Systole.
As Parker grew older and began to ask questions he realized that families didn’t have to pay for camp, so he started wondering how are they able to keep the camp operational and functioning if it’s free for the kids. He realized that they take monetary donations as well as snack/drink donations, and as a result wanted to make sure this amazing camp continued. Parker’s personal goal was to raise $1500 for Camp Systole. Through a lot of challenging work Parker was able to gather a trunk full of snack/drink donations and in just a few days raised $500. That amount was matched by the Salina Guns and Hoses equaling a total of $1000, which in turn was then matched by Camps for Kids for a total donation of $2,000 for Camp Systole.
Parker plans to raise funds every year to give back to the camp he loves so much, and all of this was made possible by a camp where kids with heart conditions have a place to go and be safe all the while having fun and making life long memories. “Everyone goes through stuff, but that doesn’t mean you can’t help others before yourself and that’s what I did because it was the right thing to do,” Parker said.
“The Salina Police Department is pleased to be involved in the Golden Football program,” Nelson said. “We look forward to distributing these footballs to deserving children such as Parker in our community who make a difference.”
The Salina Police Department will be randomly handing out Golden Footballs to the local area youth, which in turn can be redeemed at the Salina Liberty offices located at 112 S. 7th for a pair of tickets to a 2018 Salina Liberty football game. If you know of someone that you would like to personally nominate, please visit the Salina Liberty website at www.salinaliberty.com and fill out the nomination form.