October 16, 2019 Queen City Free Runners Coats for Kids Donation – Back row left to right: Buckshot Forrest Queen City Free Runners, Marty Vandenburg SSA, Bill Davisson Lodge 422 Gate of the Temple Master, and Greg Fugitt Queen City Free Runners; Front row left to right; Pamela Anderson Director of Development FSPS, Jeff Avery President Queen City Free Runners, Natalie Murdock Executive Director FSPS, Tina Pham Administrative Coordinator FSPS, Paul Smith Vice President Queen City Free Runners

In October 2001, an anonymous donor asked the Springfield Public Schools Foundation if there were students in the SPS District that needed coats, and had no means of purchasing them. The Foundation surveyed the 53 schools and identified approximately 250 students who would need coats for the rapidly approaching winter weather. The donor authorized the Foundation to find a method that would allow these students to obtain a coat with dignity.

Working with Wal-mart, the Foundation set up a simple system that would allow the school nurses at each of the school sites to issue vouchers that could be redeemed for a coat at either of the Wal-mart Supercenters.

In the 18 years that this program has been in existence, thousands of dollars worth of coats have been given to Springfield students who would not have had a coat otherwise.


October 16, 2019 

Queen City Free Runners Surpass $20,000 in Total Giving to Foundation for SPS Coats for Kids Program

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – “With winter temps arriving, it’s important to make sure that Springfield Public Schools (SPS) students in need have warm coats,” said Natalie Murdock, Executive Director for the Foundation for SPS. “The generous donation to Coats for Kids from our long-time partners the Queen City Free Runners arrived at the perfect time.”

For the sixth year in a row, members of the Queen City Free Runners, a Masonic motorcycle organization with members across the globe, delivered a check to the Foundation for Springfield Public Schools to help fund the annual Coats for Kids program.

“We’re very pleased to contribute a check for $5,388 to the Foundation for SPS Coats for Kids program, which makes our total contributions to the program more than $20,000,” said Jeff Avery, President of the Free Runners. “It’s been our pleasure to assist in keeping our communities kids warm during the Missouri winter months. I’d like to thank the sponsors of our annual Rock and Rides event that helped us achieve this – Missouri Masonic Home, Wheelers Metals, St. George’s Doughnuts, Loveland’s Transmissions, Head Indian Motorcycle, Fraternal Order of Eagles, American Business Systems, Glenn’s Auto, Mitchum Tire, Premier Pawn, Billie Jacoby Realtor, 417 Mini, Crossbreed Holsters, Adelman Vacations, Express Press and the Foxhole Legion Bar.”

“The Free Runners contribution will fund 154 of the total 424 coat vouchers going to 32 schools in our District this year,” shared Murdock. “We truly appreciate their support for our students!”

Coats for Kids began in 2001, when a very generous, anonymous donor provided funding for all SPS students in need to obtain a warm winter coat. A simple process was developed so that students in need, identified by their school nurse, could receive a coat voucher redeemable at Wal-Mart.  Since the well-being program’s inception, thousands of coat vouchers have been distributed and helped keep student’s warm, dry and more ready to learn throughout the winter months.

”We’re thankful to be able donate the proceeds of our annual Rock and Rides event,” said Avery. “The Free Runners feel that giving back to the community is a big part of our Masonic oath and duty. There’s no better way to honor that oath than by helping kids stay warm and dry.”

Oct. 10, 2017

Masons Give to Keep SPS Students Warm Again This Winter

Brrrr! Chilly temps are here and our SPS students need coats to keep them warm. Thanks to the very generous, $4,400 donation from the Queen City Free Runners & Gate of the Temple Masonic Lodge #422 to the Foundation’s Coats for Kids program, hundreds of SPS students will have new coats. They raised the money through their annual Rock n’ Ride event, held the first weekend of August.The group has supported Coats for Kids since 2014, and has given a total of more than $10,000 to fund the program!  Pictured are: Monta Wiggin, Tim Ritter, Natalie Murdock FSPS, Jeff Avery, Rodger Poole