Mother of five gives back to community after sports were given to her kids - East Idaho News

Mother of five gives back to community after sports were given to her kids

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RIGBY — A local woman is giving back to the community after her friends gave her family the gift of sports when they suffered from an unexpected death.

Jenny Kifer, of Rigby, told that her husband at the time unexpectedly passed away three years ago on Dec. 11, 2019. It was a difficult time for her, as she became a single parent to her five children. She said they buried him four days before Christmas.

Kifer said she wanted to continue to provide the best she could for her children, but it was difficult.

“My two oldest boys had been involved in sports their whole life, and sports are very important to me. I had instilled that in them. I felt like sports was kind of their out. It was their way to go and work through their issues,” she said. “When their dad passed away, I had two really good friends that came to me and said, ‘Jenny, we want to pay for your boys to do the ski program up at Kelly Canyon through our Jefferson County School District.’”

Kifer said she didn’t have the funds to pay for the program and didn’t know how she would get her two oldest boys in the program because it was already filled up.

“They (my friends) went above and beyond. They paid for my two boys and they were taking them up once a week. It was the first time my 13-year-old (he was 10 years old at the time) had ever been snowboarding. I gave him a board, and I said, ‘Just go. Go up on the mountain,’” Kifer recalls. “They worked out their grieving issues, the loss of their dad, some frustrations, and they worked it out on the mountain. It turned out to be the best thing for my boys that I could have ever possibly imagined to help them heal.”

In turn, Kifer swore that she would pay it back after what her two friends did for her boys. Kifer knows sports can be expensive, so that’s why she wants to help others. She started a nonprofit organization to honor her children called the “Campbell Kids Foundation.”

The Campbell Kids
The Campbell kids. | Courtesy Jenny Kifer

“I just want to give every kid the opportunity to play sports that actually wants to and maybe (their families are) facing financial burden or whatever the issue is, I don’t want any kid to miss out on that,” she said.

Kifer has an event coming up for her nonprofit organization called “Cornhole Kickoff,” in which she hopes to raise money to help give scholarships to kids wanting to do sports. The event will be a fun cornhole tournament. There will be food trucks like Mister B’s Wood Fired Pizza and Moe Bowlz, including giveaways.

The event will be happening on Aug. 6 at 10 a.m. at Rigby Park. All ages are invited. It costs $50 per two-person team. Kifer is encouraging people to preregister by Aug. 3. Click here to register through the Scoreholio app.

“All the proceeds go to pay for kids’ sports fees in the community, and I want this to grow to be supportive of kids all over the state, but for now, I want it to be for whatever kids need locally, whether it be that you have three kids, and they want to play summer soccer and that’s $50 apiece, and that’s expensive for one family for just a month,” Kifer said.

Kifer hopes to make the Cornhole Kickoff a yearly event. She has a goal of raising $5,000 this year and encourages anyone to come.

“My slogan kinda has been, ‘Come play so our kids can too,’” she said.

Our attorneys tell us we need to put this disclaimer in stories involving fundraisers: does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries.