Athletic department gathering schedule cards

Josh Walfish

If there’s one thing Kevin Schneider loves as much as Chicago sports, it’s schedule cards.

The 35-year-old Evanston Township graduate is a mainstay at Northwestern athletic events and is a consistent visitor to Anderson Hall, the home of NU’s athletic department. In honor of one of its great fans, the department has started a campaign called “Schedule Cards for Kevin,” to enhance Schneider’s schedule card collection.

“What I’m most excited about is that our department allows us the freedom to come up with these ideas,” associate director of athletic communications Doug Meffley said. “It’s what makes this such a special place.”

The idea for the drive evolved over time as the athletic communications department, which travels with the athletic teams on the road, had trouble getting cards for Schneider within the limits of traveling with a large group. Meffley said the idea started to form after talking to a Wildcats fan in California about the fan’s collection of programs. The athletic department then went through the Center for Independent Futures to set up the drive.

Meffley said Schneider, who has a developmental disability, was excited about the campaign and is concerned about how he is going to organize all his new schedule cards. Thus far only a handful of cards have trickled into the athletic department offices. Meffley is unsure how many more will come in and how they will present the cards to Schneider. However, the department is bracing for a landslide of cards as the campaign spreads across the country. The blog post announcing the campaign on NUsports.com was the third most visited page last week.

“The word has spread faster than I could have imagined,” Meffley said. “People read this story and immediately go tell their friends to find schedule cards.”

Schneider is very active in the Center for Independent Futures, an Evanston organization that works to help adults with developmental disabilities transition into community life and lead a more full and rich life. Ald. Jane Grover (7th) first met Schneider when she was a member of the Mental Health Board and sees him weekly at the Dominick’s on Green Bay Road where he works. She said she enjoys the conversations they have about Chicago sports teams and city issues.

“He pays attention to a lot of things and he keeps me on my toes,” Grover said. “It’s fun to talk to him because he’s so knowledgeable about not only sports, pro or college, but also what’s going on in the city.”

Grover said she is not surprised that NU has created this campaign, saying “Kevin has a lot of fans in a lot of places.” The athletic department has seen this firsthand as Akron, Marquette, Notre Dame, Valparaiso and Wisconsin have already sent in schedule cards to the campaign according to a picture posted on the athletic department’s Twitter account.

“Kevin makes a positive impression everywhere he goes and his enthusiasm is infectious,” Grover said. “He’s one of those Evanston residents who brings flavor to the community.”

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