League 42 initiative to put ‘Kids First’ reaches another campaign milestone

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The League 42 Foundation has reached $3.6 million on its $6 million Kids First Campaign.

The foundation is funding an effort to build a 10,500 square foot Leslie Rudd Education Center, a fourth ballfield, and renovating three existing fields. The new center would be located at 1212 E. 17th, north of the baseball fields at McAdams Park.

“We have been awarded a $400,000 challenge grant from the JE & LE Mabee Foundation of Tulsa to assist with the capital portion of our campaign,” said Matt Vos, League 42 board chair.

The youth center will be used for after-school tutoring for League 42 players. It will include a 23-station computer lab, an indoor baseball training area/community center and the organization’s first-ever office space.

“The Rudd Foundation’s $1 million leadership gift will be helping Wichita children for decades to come,” said Bob Lutz, League 42 executive director. “We are proud to honor Leslie, who was a supporter of the Wichita community for decades during his lifetime.”

Rudd passed away in 2018. He was an entrepreneur and philanthropist who owned Standard Beverage and many other businesses. In 2017, Rudd established the Rudd Scholars Program, which provides full-ride college funding scholarships, along with academic and life mentoring, for Pell-eligible Kansans seeking to attend either Wichita State, Fort Hays State or Emporia State. Over 100 Kansas high school graduates have already benefited from this program.

Several companies including Cargill, Fidelity Bank, Intrust Bank, Spirit Aerosystems, The Lattner Family Foundation, the Meyer Charitable Trust and David Murfin helped the league reach the $3.6 million mark.

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