On Tuesday morning, May 10, a rare visitor showed up at Wichita City Hall - complete with four legs and a tail.
As is turns out, Mayor Jeff Longwell hadn't paid for goat insurance yet. Newman University began raising money in early April for the Newman Fund with a unique and comical fundraiser boasting the "non-ownership" of a goat for those who purchase goat insurance. The fundraiser took off and students and staff around campus, along with some local community members, started purchasing the insurance.
As the month-long fundraiser continued, Freddie the goat was introduced via social media and a story on Newman Today, and an increasing number of folks were donating to the cause in order to avoid becoming the owner of this cute, but not so convenient, friend. Proceeds from the challenge will benefit the Newman Fund, which raises money for student scholarships, student fees, and other student costs throughout the year.
Longwell was a little perplexed when he walked into the lobby on Tuesday morning to discover a goat waiting for him. He admitted that the goat was indeed a cute little guy, and said, "This is new for me ... and he's quiet, which is different from most politicians." He then said he couldn't have a goat in City Hall and asked what he needed to do to send the goat back.
The idea for the fundraising challenge came from Newman alum Tad Druart, and the concept behind it is simple—nominate others to win a goat. If they don't want the goat, they pay a $10 donation to the cause for goat insurance and nominate others through social media to win the goat or pay the donation for insurance. With each nomination, a new set of challenges are made and more people get involved.
Vice President for University Advancement J.V. Johnston said, "Our alum has a fundraising component to his business and the idea is ... it kind of explodes on social media, and we've done really well with it. It's been fun."
After paying for his own goat insurance, Longwell took a stance with this statement, "Well, we're going to keep goats out of City Hall." KWCH 12 Eyewitness News was there to capture the moment.