After their first philanthropic effort went off without a hitch in December, the Kramer Family Foundation is gearing up to hit the links and dance the night away this fall with their first in-person fundraisers.
Turlock High School graduate and professional baseball player Kevin Kramer, along with his wife Riley Kramer, launched the Kramer Family Foundation near the end of 2020 — a nonprofit aimed at helping the community through any means possible, whether it be by supporting other local nonprofits or empowering specific causes. At the end of the day, the foundation just wants to make an impact, Kevin said.
The foundation’s first foray into charity work was a campaign to raise money to purchase meals for the Salvation Army, United Samaritans Foundation and Turlock Together to be served during the holidays. Kevin and Riley personally donated 1,000 meals in the name of their new nonprofit and had hoped that the Turlock community could come together to donate 1,500 more.
The end result? The Kramer Family Foundation facilitated a meal drive which raised enough money to feed 4,500 individuals, far surpassing their original goal.
“2020 was a crazy year for everyone, but for us to be able to launch a charity and make the most of a weird year even though we couldn’t host any events was a huge success,” Kevin said. “It’s just another example of how Turlock rallies around each other.”
Now that the state has reopened and gatherings are permitted once more, Kevin, Riley and the rest of the Kramer Family Foundation Board, including Turlock natives Natalie Dykzeul, James Heller, Jeremy McDonald and Kristin Bettencourt, got right to work planning a day of charitable fun for the community.
Their brainstorming led to the inaugural Kramer Family Foundation Golf & Gala Weekend to be held on Oct. 22, which will feature a golf tournament at the Turlock Golf and Country Club in the morning and an evening of glitz and glam at the The Grand Oak later that day. Proceeds from the events will benefit two local charities that have yet to be named, Kevin said.
“They’re going to be two great events. The word for us is how much ‘impact’ we’re going to have — even if it starts out small this year, that’s okay. We have big goals and want to impact as many lives as possible,” Kevin said.
Kevin said the foundation’s golf tournament will stand out from other charity events like it thanks to participation from the popular golf brand TravisMathew, which will be on site with a party bus full of merchandise for golfers to choose from. Golfers who sign up to participate in the tournament will receive a $50 TravisMathew gift card, and increased gift card amounts are included with event sponsorships.
“That’s going to be what sets us apart from any other tournaments,” Kevin said. “It was important for us to start it off with a bang.”
At the gala, auction items from Major League Baseball players will be available. Individual registration and tickets for both events will be sold separately, but sponsorship opportunities provide community members with the chance to purchase golf tournament foursomes and tickets to the gala at one convenient, charitable price.
“That’s where we’re really going to see the big numbers in donations, and obviously whatever we raise is going to go right back into the community,” Kevin said. “We’re excited and ready to get there and be in Turlock in person. It’s challenging setting up an event, and it’s a little different when you’re not there.”
Kevin, Riley and their daughter recently packed up their home and moved from Indianapolis, IN., to Nashville, TN., after Kevin was traded by the Pittsburgh Pirates organization to the Milwaukee Brewers on the Fourth of July. Kevin went from playing for the Pirates’ Triple-A team, the Indianapolis Indians, to a new role with the Nashville Sounds overnight, all while planning his charity’s first major events.
“This last week was quite the whirlwind for us,” Kevin said, adding that he was choked up leaving behind teammates he had been drafted with and played alongside for years in the Pirates organization. “It was hard to say goodbye, but at the same time it was exciting to move on to a new adventure and a new team…It was one of those things where it was time for a fresh start for both sides.”
Kevin and Riley graduated from THS in 2011, and from there, Kevin went on to win the 2013 College World Series with the UCLA Bruins before being drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the second round of the 2015 Major League Baseball Draft. He participated in 43 MLB games over two seasons from 2018 to 2019, and missed 2020 altogether after surgery on his hip.
On Monday night, Kramer was 2-4 and scored a run in the Sounds’ 7-0 victory over the Gwinnett Stripers. With their MLB counterpart the Milwaukee Brewers in first place in the National League Central division and September callups around the corner, he’s looking to make every moment count.
“There’s a different sense in the clubhouse because there’s October baseball on the line and that’s what everyone’s competing for,” Kevin said.Whether Kevin is playing baseball or golf come autumn, he still hopes the community will support the Kramer Family Foundation. For more information on the Kramer Family Foundation Golf & Gala Weekend, including sponsorship and individual prices, visit www.kramerfamilyfoundation.com.