Kearney, Neb. – The Loper Football Backers Banquet once again broke a record for monies raised for student-athlete scholarships. At the ninth annual marquee fundraiser for the Nebraska-Kearney football program on Thursday, April 26th, alumni, sponsors and donors gave $246,300 for student-athlete scholarships. More than 550 people attended the banquet at the Younes Conference Center. “I continue to be overwhelmed by the support for Loper football by our community members, friends and alumni,” said head coach Josh Lynn. “This is huge for our program; every bit of this money will be invested in scholarships to our young men. To be competitive in the MIAA you better have scholarship money and this is a huge step for us.” Since the fundraiser’s inception in 2010, more than $1.53 million dollars has now been raised for scholarships.
Last year, this event generated a then-record $243,000, including $105,000 in individual donations during the popular “Scholarship Ask.”Attendees had the opportunity to bid on more than 100 silent and live auction items and donate to the “Scholarship Ask,” which was commemorated in honor of the late Al Zikmund, a legendary figure in Loper Athletics. The “Scholarship Ask” generated more than $108,000 this year, including multiple donations of $5,000 and above. Some of the more popular live auction items was a 61-game retro Loper Arcade game that went for $5,000, two Hawaii trips that helped raise a combined $3,700, a Denver Broncos package for a Monday night game against the Kansas City Chiefs ($2,850) and a Montana Dream Vacation package ($ 2,350). Finally, a 1.02 carat diamond donated by Hoover’s Jewelers was raffled off and generated an additional $20,200 for scholarships. UNK football coaches hit the road recruiting next week with fall camp slated to begin in early August.