Courtesy: Northern Michigan Wildcats
MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University Athletic Department presents the 2020-21 Wildcat Awards. For the second straight year, the awards will be presented exclusively through the NMU Athletics website and social media accounts.
The awards will be presented over the next several days. The final day of announcements will feature the unveiling of the Gildo Canale Outstanding Seniors Award, Athletes of the Year Award, and Team of the Year honor.
HUMANITARIAN OF THE YEAR
Junior Kaffie Kurz of men’s soccer was named this year’s Humanitarian of the Year. Kurz established a charitable foundation in his native country of Liberia. The junior worked with former Wildcat men’s soccer assistant coach and current NMU women’s soccer head coach Jon Sandoval to send soccer cleats to young athletes in Liberia who were in need of them. Kurz collects the shoes in donation boxes in the men’s and women’s soccer locker rooms and cleans used pairs himself before sending them to those in need.
According to his head coach David Poggi, Kurz’s charitable and kind nature is known well outside of NMU and Marquette, “He has made an impression on not only my colleagues and his teammates but also throughout the conference.” Poggi also added, “We are very lucky to have a student-athlete at our university like Kaffie Kurz.”
For Kurz, his work collecting and sending the cleats is a way of filling a need he knows about first hand. “Being able to give one kid back home a pair of shoes so that he can play the sport he likes makes me feel like I’m giving back to my younger self,” said Kurz. “I always wanted someone to look up to and for me to be in the position to do that right now means the world to me.”
Kaffie Kurz discusses what his foundation strives for and what it means to him to receive this recognition. pic.twitter.com/P4Pn0fiBuA
— NMU Athletics (@NMU_Wildcats) June 28, 2021