Blue Springs South “mom” Angela Shipps couldn’t wait for Saturday morning to arrive.
Even though she no longer has a child playing football at Blue Springs South High School, she was one of the first patrons to arrive at the south Scooter’s Coffee, 1116 S.W Missouri 7, to buy a cup of coffee and a pastry to help support the Jaguars combined effort with Blue Springs High School on their annual Two Teams One Dream mission trip to Harmons, Jamaica.
“Why am I here?” asked Shipps, whose son, Collin West, had a big interception in the Jaguars’ 2015 state championship victory. “Once a Blue Springs South mom, always a Blue Springs South mom. I’m here because I want to help these young men make the trip to Jamaica. I know when Collin went, he left as a boy and came back as a man.”
“The trip changes these young football players. They go, not really knowing the other members of the (opposing) team, and come back with newfound respect and friendship for each other. And I personally think that makes the football games that much more fun and exciting.”
There was a new twist on the fourth annual Scooter’s Coffee Day of Giving, in which the Blue Springs’ drive-thru coffee sites donate 100 percent of their revenues for one day to the annual trip, in which senior football players build homes, dig water reservoirs and visit nursing homes.
From 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, the south Scooter’s and the north location, at 1301 N.W. M-7, donated all revenue to the annual charity pilgrimage.
And the results far exceeded those expected from co-owners Mackenzie Sykes, a 2010 graduate of Blue Springs High School, and her mother, Melanie Graeve.
The south location raised $5,291.65, and the north location raised $3,797.55.
“And to make it even better, even cooler,” Sykes said Monday, “players from each school were outside of our locations collecting donations and those donations totaled $4,145 dollars for a total of $13,243.20.”
The past three years more than $11,000 has been collected at Scooter’s, making Saturday the biggest day yet.
“It just shows you how great the people in Blue Springs are – people from all over the city – coming out to support these players who are going to Jamaica to make a real impact on people in need,” said Blue Springs assistant football coach Matt Marble, who began taking players and fellow coaches on mission trips nine years ago.
“We live in an amazing community, a community that supports both high schools in so many wonderful ways. And what Mackenzie and her mom Melanie have done, donating 100 percent of their revenue at each store – 100 percent! – no one donates 100 percent. That is pretty remarkable.”
Three of the first players to arrive at the south location were former Jaguar standouts D.J. Frost, Ethan Swanegan and Adrian Jones, who all made the trip to Jamaica last year.
“The trip changed all of our lives last year,” Swanegan said. “D.J., Adrian and I all want to go back. We received so much more than we gave. It is a life-changing experience.”
Jones and Frost nodded in agreement.
'You never forget'
“It’s bittersweet to come up here today and see all our former teammates and the Blue Springs players out collecting donations because it reminds all of us how special the trip was when we made it last year,” Frost said. “You never forget a trip like that.”
Added Jones, “It was such an eye-opening experience. You don’t realize what you have, how much you have, until you work with and help those people and I am going to go back someday, and I’d love to go back with Ethan and D.J.”
Former South football coach Dan Sundberg was at the south location, collecting donations and visiting with many familiar faces who went through the drive-thru area.
“This just sends off a good vibe,” said Sundberg, who joined forces with Marble so both football teams could make the trip not just the Wildcats. “And 100 percent from Scooter’s is just unbelievable. You see kids who are big-time rivals working together today to collect funds, then working side-by-side in Jamaica, which makes our annual football game against each other even better, even more intense.
“You’re not playing a faceless rival, you’re playing against someone you respect, someone you know, and those are the best rivalries, those make it even more special.”
Sykes and Graeve knew the Day of Giving had been successful in the past, but they wanted to take it up a notch this year.
“In the past, we’ve had either the south or the new north location donate all funds, and this year, we thought why not do both since both high schools are involved,” Sykes said. “We were a little concerned that one store might have a big day and the other might not collect as much money, but both stores did great. We’re so excited and can’t wait to do it again next year.”
Scooter’s Fourth Annual Day of Giving
South location raised $5,291.65
North location raised $3,797.55
Players collected $4,145.00
Total raised – $13,243.20