Also See: Krais Performs Well at K-State (Philadelphia Inquirer)
AN EVENING OF WILDCAT SUPPORT
By Mark Janssen
A crowd of nearly 600 gathered in Bramlage Coliseum Friday night, not to cheer the Wildcats on to another hoop victory, but instead to open their pocketbooks to support the winning cause of all of Kansas State's athletics teams.
The 27th annual Powercat Auction raised over $250,000 that will go toward the Ahearn Fund, which supports all student-athlete scholarships, plus any other needs of the athletics department.
"The support that we receive from our K-State family continues to amaze me," said assistant athletics director Lon Floyd, who was in charge of the evening. "The proceeds from this event all go to the Mike Ahearn Fund, which in turn goes directly back to our student-athletes."
Several of the bigger items included:
• 1962 Buick Invecta, $27,000, Lowell and Stacy Kolemeyer
• Authentic Cuban Dinner for 10 prepared by Frank Martin, $14,000, Marmie family
• Dining for 10 at Nelson's Landing, $10,000, Bob Pottroff
• Wildcat Custom Golf Cart, $7,000, Jordy Nelson
• A trip with the K-State basketball team, $10,000 (2), Garth Gardner and Dan Lykins
The financial support to the Wildcats is an indication of how K-Staters are feeling about the direction the department is moving.
"It's an exciting time," said Russ Briggs of Manhattan. "It's a time when K-Staters feel the whole team is coming together. We lost our way there for a little bit, but we've had a lot of positive changes from the President, to the AD, to the coaches, and now it seems like all the teams are coming together as one team."
Dan Lykins of Topeka, and member of the Kansas Board of Regents, added, "I feel much more optimistic with the way things are going from our facilities, to our coaches, to our administration. We have a young AD in John Currie, who is leading K-State toward bigger and better things, and a dynamic young President in Kirk Schulz. We also have a young basketball coach in Frank Martin, and even though our football coach (Bill Snyder) is a grandpa, he's very young in spirit."
Speaking of his generation of K-Staters in their 40s, Manhattan native and former K-State baseball player Doug Able said, "I sense more enthusiasm and more passion than I've felt for a long time. Football seems like it is back on track and we have excitement going in basketball."
A supporter of K-State athletics for over four decades, Tom Skinner of Clay Center, said, "I feel very comfortable with things. We had some things get away from us for a short time, but in a short amount of time we seem to have things back on track."
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