“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.” Matthew 6:33
2015 Year In Review
Time Flies! It’s hard to believe we established the First Things First Foundation fifteen years ago!
We had big dreams for the foundation and a vision for several programs we wanted to implement. Many of those programs are still going thanks to the generous support we have received from companies and individuals. Over the years God has also led us to new programs and expansion opportunities into new cities in ways we never could have imagined fifteen years ago. We look back with gratitude for all He has accomplished and look forward with anticipation and hope for the next fifteen years!
Warners’ Warm-up Reaches 200,000 Mark in 15th Year Fifteen years ago, a child stood at a bus stop on a very cold morning in St. Louis wearing only a light jacket. Brenda drove by and knew that child’s guardian would have bundled him up properly if they had the financial means for winter apparel. As a former single mom who struggled to pay bills and support her two children, Brenda believed many families could use assistance in the form of winter coats. She also believed in the generosity of the St. Louis community to respond to the call for donations to help their neighbors in need. The first Warners’ Warm-up Coat Drive was held prior to a Rams game in 2001 and exceeded all expectations with more than 10,000 coats collected. After Kurt’s departure from the Rams, the drive expanded into a twoKurt and Brenda took part in the first coat distribution week community wide collection with drop-off locations throughout to veterans served by St. Patrick Center. the Bi-State region. In 2015, St. Louisans once again responded to the call with tremendous generosity as nearly 20,000 coats were collected pushing the grand total mark past 200,000 coats! Coats were counted and sorted by long-time partner Operation Food Search and distributed to those who need them most through Operation Food Search’s network of social service agencies, homeless shelters, and social workers in the schools. Special thanks to our 2015 Warners’ Warm-up teammates: FedEx Office, Walgreens, LookAfter Hair Company, A-Mrazek Moving Systems, USAgain, Mattress Firm, United Way of Greater St. Louis, Gateway Region YMCA, U-Haul, and participating credit unions, and police stations. Mark your calendars for the 2016 drive to be held November 1-14.
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A Trip For All F ourteen
for a weeklong trip of rides, shows, years hosting 130 food, fireworks and more as they “Just know that even families for a week of fun and explored the magic and adventure at t h o u g h t h e t r i p wa s laughter while sharing tears and Disney World! Eight-year supporter for Zach, it really pain. The 14th annual We’re Going For Those Without A Voice once again blessed us all more to Disney World! trip was like the generously provided a grant to cover than you’ll ever know.” many before it with 10 amazing the airfare for all of the families, and Sarah, 2015 mom kids fighting for their lives and Give Kids the World gave the families their families in desperate need an incredible home away from home of a break from hospitals, doctors while in Florida. First Things First and treatments. Five families initially designed the “We’re Going to Disney World!” trip to from AZ, three from MO, one from IL and one from LA bless children battling life threatening illness with a dual in partnership with Make A Wish, Dream Factory and wish combining the fun of Orlando with meeting an NFL Dreams Come True Louisiana, joined the Warner family football legend. God had bigger plans. He always does.
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Disney Family Gone But Never Forgotten
Theresa, 2002 Trip
Matthew, 2003 Trip Alec, 2003 Trip
Byran, 2004 Trip
Tony, 2006 Trip
Chuck, 2003 Trip
Cameren, 2006 Trip Kyle, 2005 Trip
Angel, 2007 Trip
In loving memory of those who are forever present in our hearts
Sharrone, 2008 Trip
Anthony, 2006 Trip
Rhonda, 2007 Trip
Tim, 2011 Trip
Dana, 2010 Trip Nicole, 2011 Trip
Jaylen, 2013 Trip
Lidia, 2013 Trip
Caleb, 2013 Reunion Tyler, 2013 Trip
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Reliving Cherished Disney Memories R eunions
a r e a l way s special. But, “We’re Going to Disney World!” reunions give special a whole new significance. First Things First hosted two reunion events in Scottsdale and St. Louis, respectively. Families from the past nine years of Disney trips attended the party in Arizona with more than 170 people attending to enjoy dinner courtesy of Carrabba’s Italian Grill along with dessert and demonstrations from Sub Zero Ice Cream and Yogurt. In St. Louis participants from all past 13 trips gathered together on a hot summer day at St. Louis Family Church for a delicious Chick-fil-A dinner and cold treats from Smoothie King. While the activities at both reunions varied from swimming and sports in Arizona to inflatables and Bubble Bus in STL, the two parties mirrored each other in the time spent catching up, taking photos and reliving cherished memories.
Kurt, Josie, Esteban, and Ariel (clockwise) reenact a photo from the 2005 Disney trip at the STL Reunion.
AZ Reunion Group Shot 2015
Football, Fun and Folds of Honor
Kurt continued his involvement with Westwood One
Radio as color analyst for eight Monday Night Football games during the 2015 season and also continued to use the opportunity to bless military families with tickets to the games. Four tickets to the MNF games Kurt called were given to scholarship recipients from Folds of Honor, whose mission is to empower military families by providing educational scholarships to the children and spouses of military service men and women killed or disabled while serving. Kurt was honored to meet his guests in the press box during the game, and they also received FTF gear and gift cards to Carrabba’s Italian Grill.
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Grate-FULL, Joy-FULL, Houses FULL The Crispo & Gil Families were given a big reason to give thanks on Thanksgiving as they not only moved into their new
Habitat homes in Glendale & Peoria, respectively, but were surprised to find them completely furnished thanks to a Homes for the Holidays team effort spearheaded by First Things First. Nominated by Habitat for Humanity of Central AZ, the two families with five children between them were overwhelmed by the furniture, TV, washer/dryer and computer donated by Aarons, the mattresses gifted by R&S Mattress, furnishings shopped for by U-Haul volunteers, and the pantry filled with food, including a turkey and all the fixings, provided by Kellogg’s and Safeway. All five children even received bikes thanks to the Pedal Power Foundation.
In St. Louis, First Things First once again partnered with Aaron’s and U-Haul to give two single mothers and their kids an unforgettable Christmas blessing. April and Sheena worked hard with Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis, taking the steps necessary to purchase their first homes. The two new neighbors knew Kurt and Brenda Warner would be on their doorstep but were shocked to open the door to find a fully furnished home courtesy of Aaron’s, U-Haul, Kellogg’s and First Things First. Both mothers shed tears as they walked through their new homes filled with furniture, TV, washer & dryer, and even Christmas décor while their children appreciated the smaller blessings like treats in the pantry and favorite DVDs. In total, First Things First has surprised 39 families since the inception of Homes for the Holidays!
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Spreading Christmas Cheer Both Far & Near
Night With Champions: St. Louis Cardinals Edition
Things First continued its tradition of adopting organizations in St. Louis, Iowa, and Phoenix to share Christmas blessings with those in need. Stockings filled with goodies including gif t cards were donated to organizations supporting refugees including Oasis International in St. Louis & Catholic Charities in Cedar Rapids as well as organizations supporting women rescued from sex trafficking including The Covering House in St. Louis & Attacking Trafficking in the Quad Cities. Special thanks to employees from Edward Jones in St. Louis for helping to assemble the stockings for all four organizations, and Kurt’s family in Iowa for delivering the stockings (photo above). In Phoenix, the Warner family continued its Christmas Eve tradition of delivering stockings to the children of Sunshine Acres Children’s Home. Carrabba’s Italian Grill donated a delicious lunch for the group and additional treats were provided by Claire’s Cute Cakes, Cinnabons from Taco Bell, and a hot chocolate bar from Entrees On Route. Everyone enjoyed playing together including Knockerball courtesy of Knockerball Scottsdale. Thanks to UPS in Phoenix for help in assembling the stockings for the kids of Sunshine Acres.
The 2015 Night with Champions celebrated the St. Louis
Cardinals with Special Guests Mike Matheny and Adam Wainwright along with emcee Randy Karraker. Floor guests enjoyed a First Bites reception with delicious cuisine from local restaurants including Bishop’s Post, The Cup, Drunken Fish, Fitz’s American Grill, Pappy’s Smokehouse, prasino, Pueblo Solis, and Tucanos Brazilian Grill as well as wine from Cooper’s Hawk. Kurt, Mike, and Adam entertained the audience with great stories and memories of both sports moments and personal life. It was a lighthearted night of fun with a trivia competition including a few audience members and even a dance off between Kurt and Adam! Best of all, more than $87,500 was raised for First Things First! In addition to the food and beverage sponsors, special thanks to: Edward Jones, St. Louis Cardinals, St. Louis Rams, Greenway Family Office, Independents Graphics & Display, Rawlings, Mar y Tu t t l e ’ s F l o w e r s , Bentley Studio, and Aaron’s.
Suite Ticket Holders Got Money’s Worth in Marathon Game Kurt
was honored to be the featured speaker at Christian Day at Busch Stadium in July when the St. Louis Cardinals took on the New York Mets. First Things First supporters purchased suite tickets to watch the game from a private indoor/outdoor suite including food and drink as well as the opportunity to talk with Kurt and Brenda. The day of fun was longer than everyone expected with an 18 inning game! In addition to the funds raised through suite ticket sales, First Things First also benefitted from a 50/50 in-stadium raffle resulting in a grand total of nearly $15,000 for the foundation that day!
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Ultimate Football Experience
The twelfth annual Ultimate Football Experience held March 6-7 in Phoenix, AZ featured weekend gridiron warriors from
PetRays, R&S Mattress, U-Haul, White Water, and more who took to the field at the AZ Cardinals training facility with celebrities of the past, present and future for a 4-on-4 flag football tournament. The 2015 celebrity line-up included: Rudy Carpenter, Ty Detmer, Brian Hoyer, Colin Kaepernick, John Lynch, Mark Rypien, Tyrod Taylor, and of course Kurt Warner. R&S Mattress quarterbacked by Colin Kaepernick took home the championship defeating White Water quarterbacked by Tyrod Taylor. But the real winners are those served by FTF with more than $140K raised! It was a team effort once again and First Things First would like to thank everyone involved including: Crust Restaurants, Carrabbaâ€™s Italian Grill, Wildflower Bread Company, The Good Egg, Remo Tulliani Gear for Men, Fast Action Sports, Royal Restrooms, Audi North Scottsdale, Rock It Up, A Better Alternative Bouncy Things, Jamba Juice, Wheaties, Coca-Cola, Albertsons, Frito Lay, Skittles, Nike, Walmart, Hensley & Company, and NFL Network.
Building Homes in IA With Youth United & Habitat for Humanity In May, Kurt and Brenda along with members of the extended Warner family
worked alongside Cedar Valley Habitat for Humanity staff and local area youth to landscape and put finishing touches on another Youth United home before dedicating the home to a hardworking family. The Youth United program in Cedar Rapids is made possible through $125,000 in grant funding pledged by First Things First over a five year period. The Warners and First Things First have been involved with Cedar Valley Habitat since 2009 in response to the flood of 2008 which devastated Kurtâ€™s hometown of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Since then First Things First has helped generate nearly $1,000,000 in financial support for Cedar Valley Habitat and its families. In addition to financial support, Kurt and Brenda have made several visits since 2009 to swing hammers, raise walls, and most recently to lay sod and plant bushes.
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Treasure House Focused on Raising Funds in 2015
The Treasure House team began 2015 with sights set on
a big goal— raising funds for the Capital Campaign! Lisa Hartsock was brought on board as Development Director to lead the charge to fundraise for the first Treasure House. Her innovative approach to fundraising led to online auction events featuring premier concert and sports tickets, a brunch featuring Tara Hitchcock and Treasure House Co-Founder Brenda Warner, and more! While Treasure House focuses on raising funds needed to see the vision come to life, the team has also been busy educating families about benefits, planning, and options
for their young adults. In November, Treasure House hosted a free Special Needs Planning Workshop for families of individuals with disabilities, sponsored by Arizona Federal Credit Union. This workshop allowed parents to learn about several important issues, from Guardianship to Special Needs Trusts. Treasure House also benefitted from a Walk hosted by a local high school, at which the community came together to celebrate Treasure House’s vision. It’s been an amazing year of growth, and the Treasure House team is eager to continue the momentum as they prepare to break ground on the Glendale location in the new year. The most exciting piece of the project is still to come: meeting the first Treasure House residents and watching them grow in community with one another when the doors finally open. Thank you for all of your support!
To donate to Treasure House, please visit www.treasurehouse.org/donate
Continued Emphasis on Expansion for CHEER In March, Kurt and Brenda made a special visit to a high
school in Southern California to encourage the students to think about inclusion. The Warners spoke to the 4,000 students at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Eastvale during two assemblies as part of CHEER – Conscious Helps Encourage Equal Respect. Roosevelt earned the appearance by the Warners with their enthusiastic implementation of the CHEER program during the pilot phase of the national expansion and partnership with Best Buddies. Since Fall 2014, Roosevelt has hosted three CHEER weeks with more than 300 students adopting a disability for a day and
coming together at the week’s end to discuss the impact. The message of inclusion is taking hold at Roosevelt where the student body elected a student with downs syndrome as Homecoming Queen. During the assembly, Kurt reminded the audience that his trophies, rings and awards will soon be forgotten but the “impact you have on someone else is never forgotten.” Roosevelt High School was one of four schools who hosted CHEER across the country in 2015. Any schools interested in hosting a CHEER week at their school can inquire by calling the First Things First office at 602-385-0840.
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Keeping up with the Warners thru Social Media
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2015 Friends of First Things First Helping First Things First share God’s love with the community with cash and in-kind contributions (Sincerest apologies if anyone was inadvertently omitted from this list)
$50,000+ Kellogg’s Priority Sports & Entertainment $30,000+ Aaron’s For Those Without A Voice U-Haul Walt Disney World Resorts $25,000+ Nike R&S Mattress Claudia & Paul Paparella $20,000+ Mazda Foundation PetRays Prosource Foundation, Inc. $10,000+ Arizona Cardinals St. Louis Cardinals White Water $5,000+ AZ Super Bowl Host Committee Richard Brettelle Carrabba’s Italian Grill Crust Pizzeria Edward Jones Joy FM Joan Malloy OolaMoola, Inc. St. Louis Rams TC Schuttler Colin Trout Wildflower Bread Company $2,500+ A-Mrazek Moving Systems Daniel Carns Donald Glaser Kristin Johnson Ryan Melvin MyBrand Promo Chuck & Laura Orban prasino Greg Smith Lindsee Travis Wal-mart Westwood One Radio
$2,000+ Ameren CBIZ, Inc. Coovert Foundation Debra Bastien Belden Rachel Hamill Hollywood Casino Rusty & Kim Maple Purk & Associates Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital SSM Cardinal Glennon Foundation Cory Trout Scott & Staci Young $1,000+ Albertsons Marlie Averitte Audi North Scottsdale Sandra Belderian Bentley Studio Toni Beverly Coopers Hawk Winery & Restaurants Drunken Fish The Good Egg Hensley & Co. Hubbard Interactive Independents Graphic & Display L’Auberge de Sedona Loews Hotel Kathryn King MarketPlace One Alec Ninker Memorials Carole Pauk Michael Porter Rawlings Warren Redfearn Royal Restrooms Rural Metro St. Louis Family Church Wendy Smith Tucanos Mike Walker Kenneth Weaver Keith Whittemore Bruce Yeung Photography $500 + Tyler Baisley Bishop’s Post Jerome Bogle Chick-fil-A (Mid Rivers Mall Drive) John Collins, Jr.
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2015 Friends of First Things First (cont.)
Helping First Things First share God’s love with the community with cash and in-kind contributions (Sincerest apologies if anyone was inadvertently omitted from this list) The Cup Kathy Disher Dominie Luxury FedEx Office Fitz’s American Grill & Bottlling Works Gap, Inc. Todd & Angela Gildehaus Grey Eagle/Lohr Distributors Mark Hoegemann Images by Lori Jet Limousines JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort Mary Tuttle’s Flowers Matthew Matousek Jonathan Mikow Dana Morgan Memorials National Bank of Arizona Todd & Tricia Obermark Pappy’s Smokehouse Pueblo Solis Paul Saiter Safeway Jared Ulrich Brian Weiss Iesha Whitfield Yvette Wilson Wildlife World Zoo $250+ A Better Alternative Bouncy Things Barnes & Noble Booksellers Mr. & Mrs. Daniel P Brennan Eddie’s House Fast Action Sports God Feet Frito Lay Veronica Goff Martin & Gabby Gomez Harkins Theatres Knockerball Scottsdale Shelly Lanagan John LoGuercio Mastro’s Ann Morgan Elliot Munson NFL Network Orchards Inn Pedal Power Foundation The Phoenician Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy Ritz Carlton Phoenix River City Rascals Judy Steele-Beckett St. Louis Blues Subzero Ice Cream AZ
Mike Sullivan Tap Out Wheaties Wonderland Market Zach Ruble Productions $100+ All Star Framing Bill’s Custom Frames Helen Boyd Michael Brickner Cabi Jeffrey and Amber Capps Jane Chen Coca-Cola Creve Coeur Camera Dominick’s Steakhouse Elements at Sanctuary Fairytale Brownies Amy Flores Fast Frame Frame of Mind Frenchtown Bangles & Beads Philip Garton Great American Title Company How’s it Hangin’ Thomas Jochum Terry & Elizabeth Ludwig The Magic House Moments Framed Allen Moore The Muny Mr. and Mrs. Jeff Owen Louise Owen Origami Owl Theresa Peterson Theresa M. Ramsbottom Rock It Up Peter Rogers Romanci Collections Scentsy Schafly Beer Corrie Schreiber Tracy Senf Six Flags Skittles Derek Sotnyk Steak 44 Tarbell’s Jerry Trout Wells Fargo Community Support Campaign Karen Wyman Younique
PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID PHOENIX, AZ PERMIT NO. 5514
One N. First Street, Ste. 735 Phoenix, Arizona 85004 Phone: 602-385-0840 Fax: 602-385-0841 Toll Free: 877-FIRST-13 www.kurtwarner.org
Scholarships for ServiceBased Mission Trips First Things First awarded 57 scholarships totaling $46,750 to youth groups that participated in service-based mission trips in the US during spring break and summer. The groups completed projects such as repairing homes, helping at homeless shelters, delivering meals, community garden planting, and caring for those with disabilities and the elderly. As one advisor wrote, “It is so important to teach the youth about Christ and His teachings and the way in which He lived His life for us. This teaching is vital, but to just teach is like just having a vertical cross that is missing the horizontal part. The youth need to experience being Christ’s hands and feet…To me service is the horizontal piece of the cross and a necessary piece.” The deadline for 2016 summer trip applications is April 1 and 2017 spring break applications is December 1.
Published on Feb 1, 2016