Now Serving: The Kennel Club
“Kennel Cares is a grassroots initiative with endless room for growing and impact,” said Shannon McFaul (’16). The purpose of Kennel Cares is to reach out into the community and give back to those who give so much passion to supporting Gonzaga athletics.
“The best part is involvement here is all threaded together with a passion for giving back—Zags just love service and sports!” exclaimed Mike Konopaski (’17), who serves along with McFaul on the Kennel Club board and as representatives for Kennel Cares. Together, they feed off of the excitement and diversity of interests employed by the students at Gonzaga.
Founded as the student section of the Kennel back in 1984, the Kennel Club has evolved over the years into the club with the greatest number of participants of any club on campus today. The club’s leadership consists of a board with representatives for each class along with a standard cabinet of student leaders who organize cheers, events and all things spirited for the Zags.
McFaul serves as the external chair for Kennel Cares, looking to connect the greater Spokane community to the Kennel. Konopaski is the internal counterpart to McFaul’s position, focusing on facilitating service within the GU community. Together, they are working on sustainable projects centered around helping other programs grow—networking different service organizations together with Kennel Club’s large audience.
Their focus is on serving the Gonzaga, Spokane and eventually a global community. Some of Kennel Cares’ upcoming projects and plans for partnership include: Ignite Basketball with Spokane Hoopfest, GUSR, She’s the First, and SOUL. Kennel Cares has also done food drive competitions before big games and is currently working with Spokane Guilds’ School and their annual penny drive.
Looking forward, one of the unique challenges for Kennel Cares will be providing volunteer and service opportunities in which the entire club, not just the board members, can participate. With so much opportunity and with such an authentic, intentional mission, Kennel Cares offers another facet to being a Zag fan.
“Despite the vast interests of our Zags,” explained McFaul, “Kennel Cares connects students of every background through the common bond of Gonzaga athletics and service.”