The Chiefs and the Kansas City community celebrated the 23rd edition of Red Friday on Friday, Sept. 5, by raising more than $100,000 for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kansas City. The total amount raised marks a single-day record for Red Friday fundraising.
"We are grateful to the Kansas City Chiefs and our McDonald's family for their immense support," Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kansas City CEO Holly Buckendahl said. "This gift will allow us to keep sick children and their families together during times of medical crisis and help us serve 87 families with the opening of a third Ronald McDonald House in Kansas City."
Beginning this season, the Chiefs sold official, exclusive Chiefs Kingdom flags for Red Friday. A suggested donation of $4 was encouraged for fans wishing to obtain the limited-edition flag. All 35,000 flags – which were available at more than 170 locations including all Kansas City and St. Joseph-area McDonald's restaurants – sold out on Red Friday.
"We are pleased to announce the most successful Red Friday in the 23-year history of the event, and we are happy that the net proceeds will benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kansas City," Chiefs President Mark Donovan said. "On behalf of the Hunt family and the Chiefs organization, I want to thank Chiefs fans and the entire Kansas City community for coming together on Red Friday to positively impact local youth and their families."
Chiefs fans and staff celebrate Red Friday throughout Kansas City on September 5, 2014.
In addition to the money raised on Red Friday, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kansas City was the beneficiary of the Hunt Family Foundation 50/50 Raffle at the club's home opener on Sunday, Sept. 7. Since the raffle began in the 2013 season, the $48,423 total was the highest amount raised with $24,211.50 going to RMHC of Kansas City and the other half going to the raffle's winning ticketholder.
Outside of purchasing a Chiefs Kingdom flag at participating locations, fans were encouraged to show their Red Friday spirit by wearing Chiefs gear all day and by visiting the free Red Friday pep rally at Union Station, which was part of "Kansas City Celebrates at the Station." The event – a free family friendly joint initiative of the Chiefs, Union Station and the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial – was designed to celebrate the centennial anniversary of Kansas City's famed transportation landmark.
Red Friday honors the long-standing tradition started by Chiefs Founder Lamar Hunt and the Chiefs Red Coaters of selling team-themed publications around the city to raise money for local charities. Since the inception of Red Friday, newspaper, magazine and flag sales have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for local charities, with an emphasis on assisting youth in need. For more information on Red Friday, please visit www.kcchiefs.com/redfriday.html.
Through a partnership with McDonald's, all of the net proceeds from this year's flag sales go to assisting Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kansas City as they reduce the burden of childhood illness on children and their families by providing a "home away from home" while the children are receiving medical care in Kansas City-area hospitals. For more information on Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kansas City, please visit www.rmhckc.org/.