History

2005

Jeff Nix purchases season basketball tickets to the U.S. Air Force Academy to support Jeff Bzdelik, his friend and head coach, and donates them to the kids at Fort Carson.

2006

Jeff and his business partner, Ray Stults, decide to do more for the kids at Fort Carson and hold a fundraising event for The Home Front CaresTM organization to purchase tickets to Air Force football and basketball games.

In what proves to be an atypical backyard summer BBQ, a coaching and special guests roster including…

Rod Balanis Notre Dame
Daimon Beathea Elkhart Express
Todd Beer Lt. Colonel Retired, Pilot – Air Force One
Shay Boyle Loyola (Illinois)
Mike Brey Notre Dame
Jeff Bzdelik Colorado
Chris Collins Duke
Tom Crean Marquette (now Indiana)
Gene Cross Notre Dame (now Toledo)
Hubert Davis NBA – ESPN
Mike Ditka NFL – NFL Hall of Fame
LaPhonso Ellis NBA – Notre Dame
Dane Fife IPFW
Steve Hawkins Western Michigan
Martin Ingelsby Notre Dame
Tom Izzo Michigan State
Stan Joplin Toledo
Sean Kearney Notre Dame
Mike Lightfoot Bethel
Ray McCallum Indiana (now Detroit)
Muffet McGraw Notre Dame
Matt Painter Purdue
John Paxson NBA – Chicago Bulls
Michael Peterson Country Music Artist
Digger Phelps ESPN – Notre Dame
Tim “Shine” Raynor U.S.M.C.
Kelvin Sampson Indiana (now Milwaukee Bucks)
Dave Shepherd Indiana Mr. Basketball—1970
Brad Stevens Butler
Jonathan Tsipis Notre Dame
Jerry Wainwright DePaul

……helped to raise enough money to send more than 1,000 kids to Air Force athletic events.

2007

The mission grows to include the children of Fort Carson and Fort Benning, as well as the Illinois – Indiana – Michigan National Guard and Marine Corps units.

Camouflage Kids impacted twelve colleges and athletic departments during the 2007-08 school year:

Fort Benning Fort Carson
Auburn, U.S. Air Force Academy
Indiana National Guard & Marine Corp
Butler, Indiana, IPFW, Notre Dame, Purdue & Valparaiso
Michigan National Guard & Marine Corp
Michigan State, Western Michigan & Toledo
Illinois National Guard & Marine Corp
DePaul

The Camo Kids cause is born and almost 2,000 children enjoyed a college campus and athletic event.

2008

Gaining momentum and growing, Camouflage Kids activities included its annual fundraising event featuring Hall of Fame basketball coach Bob Knight, an inaugural golf outing and a basketball clinic for our military children (and also children from the Boys & Girls Club and northern Indiana fire and police departments). Headlining the basketball clinic was instruction from former Notre Dame coach Digger Phelps and former NBA players Hubert Davis and LaPhonso Ellis.

Other coaches and special guests enjoying our Camouflage Kids fundraising event for the first time included Dino Gaudio (Wake Forest), Ed Conroy (The Citadel), Angie Potthoff-Barber (Notre Dame), Chris Zorich (NFL – Notre Dame), Major General Robert Mixon (U.S. Army – Retired), Jeff Meyer (Michigan), Andy Hipsher (Western Michigan), Kevin Kuwik (Butler), Steve Groothuis (Loyola – Illinois), Roy White (Snowball Express), and Rick Kell (Operation Hardwood).

All events proved very successful and will enable us to include even more colleges in our Camouflage Kids schedule for 2008-09.

Ball State University
Canisius College
Niagara University
St. Bonaventure University
SMU
The Citadel
U.S. Military Academy
U.S. Naval Academy
University at Buffalo
University of Michigan
University of San Diego

2009-10

The 2009-10 Camouflage Kids program was outstanding as we had 12 college athletic events across the country impacting over 2,300 military children and families. Coach Herb Sendek and the Arizona State University basketball team welcomed Camouflage Kids to their beautiful campus last season for a great basketball event compliments of U-Haul.

Over the past two years, contributions have impacted over 5,500 military children at 34 events. What started as four basketball season tickets to Fort Carson and the Air Force Academy has now grown to impact thousands.

2011-13

Camouflage Kids continues to support our military children with a variety of programs. The children of San Diego have benefited the most with our strong allegiance with the athletic department at the University of San Diego. Over 1500 children have participated in activities at USD over the past couple of years and we are very grateful for their support.

Camouflage Kids is also venturing into a different area this summer as we provide tuition for the children to attend the A.S.C.E.N.D 2013 aviation summer camp sponsored by the EAA # 1083 at the Rowan County Airport in Salisbury, NC. This camp will give our military children an opportunity to learn about aviation and at the end of the week fly with a certified pilot to get hands on experience in this exciting field.