Committee Members: Anthony Porcaro, Rae Wood, Dean Steger, Tom Chlebos, Marcus Hanel, Eileen Beesley, Tom Sollman, Jill Hanel, Nicole Ramczyk
How We Got Started
Marcus Hanel (otherwise known as “Koos”) is a Racine native. He has always had a a desire to help children. Before Koos for Kids began, he had been helping other nationwide, charitable organizations. He enjoyed it very much, but really wanted to give back to the local community and impact lives immediately.
In the summer of 2004, Marcus was approached by Tom Chlebos to begin his own charity. He was very excited about the idea. Marcus made it his mission to help children and share his love of Christ with them. Now, he just needed a team to help him get started...
Over the course of a couple months, he formed a committee of five people, including Marcus himself, Tom Chlebos, Anthony Porcaro, Dean Steger, and Jill Hanel (Marcus’ wife). In January of 2005, they came up with the name, “Koos for Kids”, and decided to focus on helping terminally ill and disadvantaged children in the local area. The first official fundraiser was a success the charity grew quickly. They added Board Members Tom Sollman & Nicole Ramczyk and Committee Members Rae Wood & Eileen Beesley.
Koos for Kids helps children in a few different ways. Over the years, they have been able to help numerous terminally ill children by purchasing them laptops, ipads, zoo passes, airplane tickets, a puppy, whatever it is that makes their life a little brighter. They've purchased over 3000 winter coats for disadvantaged children in the local area, organized and ran the Challenger Baseball League where over 60 children with special needs can come and be part of a team and learn the game of baseball. There are many other ways they have helped the local community as well thanks to the support from local individuals and businesses.