How a Fairfield grad is helping his district’s needy students — including with kickball

Swine City Brewing on Industry Drive in Fairfield held on Aug. 24, 2019, the Dougie & Ray’s inaugural Kicking Into Fall Kickball Tournament fundraiser. Dougie & Ray’s is an outreach to minister and assist students in the Fairfield School District. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/STAFF
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Swine City Brewing on Industry Drive in Fairfield held on Aug. 24, 2019, the Dougie & Ray’s inaugural Kicking Into Fall Kickball Tournament fundraiser. Dougie & Ray’s is an outreach to minister and assist students in the Fairfield School District. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/STAFF

A Fairfield-based charity has already impacted the lives of more than 100 students within the Fairfield City Schools in just 18 months of operation, officials said.

Dougie & Ray’s has given out scores of backpacks and pairs of shoes, provided Christmas last year to about 75 students and paid of several negative-balance lunch accounts. Nurses’ closets also contain emergency clothes for students in case of accidents.

“I grew up through the schools, and being a Fairfield resident, I want to give back to the kids,” said Ted McDaniel, founder of Dougie & Rays, a charity he created to give back to Fairfield City Schools. “It’s now a lot harder for kids … if I can get them something to boost their confidence or mitigate out bullying itself, then I created a ripple — and hopefully it carries on.”

 

Fairfield schools spokeswoman Gina Gentry-Fletcher said the district is “grateful” for how McDaniel “has worked tirelessly to help families in the community.”

“The outreach efforts of Dougie & Ray’s has made a tremendous difference in the lives of many of our families,” she said.

Dougie & Ray’s, named in tribute to two life-long educators, Doug Heesten and Ray Bauer, was founded by McDaniel, a Fairfield graduate, to help out students in need within the Fairfield Schools and mitigate bullying. McDaniel said Heesten’s and Bauer’s “love for their students is the guiding light of Dougie & Ray’s.”

The charity concentrates in four areas: fulfilling basic needs, an annual Christmas Drive, lunch account financial assistance and an annual shoe drive.

This past weekend, Dougie & Ray’s held its second event of the school year. Swine City Brewing hosted the inaugural Kicking Into Fall Kickball Tournament, in which six teams participated.

“It’s amazing, just to be able to give back to the community and to the kids, and to be able to help and have fun while we do it,” McDaniel said. “To have people from Fairfield come out and play, it’s great.”

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Earlier this month, Dougie & Ray’s gave out more than 100 backpacks and pairs of shoes at Crossroads Middle School for kids in need. At the end of the 2018-2019 school year, Dougie & Ray’s held a Stepping Into Summer fundraiser.

Chris Schulz, a manager at Swine City Brewing, said they've "always been about helping out our community, doing anything that we can to give back to this community that's raised us."

Brewery owners Dan and Debby Ebben are from the city, as well as Schulz and most of the staff.

Swine City Brewing also gives back to the Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields by donating part of the proceeds of its Nuxy 41 altbier.

“We want to give back to the community that’s pretty much raised us,” Schulz said. “This is definitely not something odd to see here.”

PHOTOS: Did we spot you at Fairfield’s kickball fundraiser this weekend?

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