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Donations to K-State fund set record

By Kellis Robinett

McClatchy-Tirbune

MANHATTAN -- Kansas State announced Thursday that athletics donations grew to $46.4 million in the past year, a record for the Ahearn Fund.

That total reflects a 21-percent jump in donations from $36.8 million in 2012-13. The Ahearn Fund, which is responsible for raising money from K-State fans and alumni for the Wildcats' athletic department, has now set a record for total gifts in five consecutive years. The Ahearn Fund currently consists of an all-time high 10,156 members.

"K-Staters from across the country continue to demonstrate their tremendous loyalty and amazing generosity in support of our student-athletes and coaches," senior associate athletic director Chad Weiberg said in a statement. "I believe there is a true understanding among K-Staters that every Ahearn Fund member and every contribution, regardless of the amount, is very important to the continued success of K-State athletics. All of the coaches, student-athletes and staff are extremely grateful for each and every member for their support."

Gifts to the Ahearn Fund start at $50 and they are designated for everything from scholarships to sports medicine and to facility upgrades.

Over the past five years, K-State donors have supplied 21 private gifts in excess of $1 million. Those donations have helped the Wildcats build a new basketball training facility and revamp the west side of Bill Snyder Stadium. Further upgrades to the north end of the football stadium will begin following the final home game of the upcoming season, while new video boards are on the way at Bramlage Coliseum.

"We are grateful for the continued participation of all Ahearn Fund members," Athletic Director John Currie said. "The grass-roots support through the Ahearn Fund and ticket purchases by our fans continue to be our largest source of revenue and remain critical in providing our student-athletes with a world-class experience."