The Red Coaters have been an essential part of the Chiefs organization since the team moved to Kansas City in 1963.
“Mayor Bartle rounded up community and civic leaders around town to show Mr. Hunt that the community would support a team, which is where the Red Coaters sprung from,” Brian Gregory, Red Coater since 2006, explained. “The Red Coaters went out and got commitments from people to buy season tickets if the team moved here, without being able to even tell them who the team was.”
This group is a community-service organization comprised of businessmen and women who are passionate about the Chiefs and have an opportunity to give back to the community.
“A Red Coater is an individual who is very giving and unselfish and has a great passion for the Chiefs and a tremendous desire to give back to our wonderful community,” Patti DiPardo-Livergood, Chiefs Special Projects Coordinator, explained.
DiPardo-Livergood is entering her fifth season with the Chiefs Red Coater program. She helps oversee the program, inform the Red Coater captains of events, lead the group on game days and plan away game trips and social events.
“It is an absolute honor and privilege to work with these individuals all year long,” DiPardo-Livergood noted. “Red Coaters are the most caring people you will ever meet. Without any doubt, they are very passionate about their Chiefs and serving the Kansas City community.”
The Red Coaters volunteer at every single Chiefs event throughout the year. This group is so dedicated to the Kansas City community and has such a passion for helping others. In 2013, the Red Coaters volunteered over 4,000 hours throughout the community and for events at Arrowhead Stadium.
“The Red Coaters truly love volunteering their time toward the community,” Linda Newby, Chiefs Red Coater for 18 years, explained. “The support that the Chiefs give to the community and so many organizations around town make me love them so much.”
Red Coaters participate in charitable fundraisers, community events, Training Camp, golf tournaments, NFL sponsored school programs, stadium events and are on the field during pre-game at Arrowhead Stadium. These are just a few of the many great works where Red Coaters are involved.
“The Red Coaters are a ‘face for the Chiefs’ in the community throughout the year, volunteering in many different community activities,” DiPardo-Livergood noted. “Whether they are raising money for charities or collecting canned food donations for Harvesters, the Red Coaters are constantly in the community.”
One of the more recent events, in December of 2013, the group donated over 37 bikes, 27 scooters and 35 helmets to the Toys for Tots program.
“The Toys for Tots event tugs on my heartstrings, it’s just awesome,” Carolyn Lehnus, Chiefs Red Coater said. “We hope this helps puts a smile on a child’s face and help make a big impact on children’s lives during the holiday season. It’s a real thrill to do this every year and see the support of the Kansas City community.”
The group is also heavily involved in Red Friday. The Red Coaters created Red Friday and continue to make it a success, raising nearly $70,000 last year to benefit the Ronald McDonald house Charities of Kansas City.
The tradition began 22 years ago when Red Coaters and Lamar Hunt took to the streets to sell a special Chiefs edition newspaper.
“I remember sitting in on the very first meeting about Red Friday,” DiPardo-Livergood said. “Red Coaters, Chiefs personnel and I brainstormed about taking to the street corners and selling newspapers with a special Chiefs edition in it to benefit local charities. Lamar Hunt was on the street corners early that morning visiting with everyone and selling newspapers.”
Since it’s inception, Red Friday has generated $600,000 for local charities.
“Red Friday is a way to raise money for the Chiefs charities,” Ken Marrs, Chiefs Red Coater for 23 years, said. “It gets larger every year; everybody in the area gets involved. I don’t know how I would be a Red Coater without having Red Friday, it’s the number one boost to the whole city.”
Not only is this group out and about in the community, the Red Coaters also have the opportunity to be on the field on game day.
“The Red Coaters have a very special opportunity to express their fandom on game day, as they proudly welcome the Chiefs to the field at Arrowhead Stadium,” Dipardo-Livergood noted.
This passionate and dedicated group has served the Kansas City area since 1963 and continues to give back today. Thank you Red Coaters for your service, loyalty and support of the Kansas City community and the Chiefs organization.