Schenectady

Union men’s hockey captain Kosack raises $45,000 for Schenectady’s C.O.C.O.A. House

Union men's hockey player Josh Kosack speaks to the media during media day on Sept. 29, 2021 at Messa Rink in Schenectady.
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Union men's hockey player Josh Kosack speaks to the media during media day on Sept. 29, 2021 at Messa Rink in Schenectady.

SCHENECTADY — Union senior men’s hockey captain Josh Kosack announced Monday that the second annual Kozi’s Kids holiday fundraiser raised almost $45,000 to benefit local Schenectady children through C.O.C.O.A. House.

Kozi’s Kids was founded by Kosack three years ago in an effort to give children from C.O.C.O.A. (Children of our Community Open to Achievement) House the opportunity to attend Union men’s hockey games and learn about life as a college student-athlete. The non-profit after-school center for Schenectady youth is dedicated to providing a safe place for inner-city youth where they can learn valuable life skills and receive academic enrichment and mentorship.

The novel coronavirus pandemic forced Kozi’s Kids to pivot its focus in 2020, and Kosack initiated a holiday fundraiser that raised more than $5,000 that was used for laptops and iPads for C.O.C.O.A. House to assist the after school program’s participants with online learning, as well as for Christmas presents distributed to children in the Tri-City area.

Kosack set a goal of $20,000 for this year’s fundraiser, after a donor agreed to match the amount raised up to $10,000. The goal was to assist with C.O.C.O.A. House’s annual Christmas toy drive for kids in the Capital Region while also funding a Kozi’s Kids Lounge in the building next door.

In the end, the fundraiser shattered its original goal.

“The past two months have been a whirlwind,” Kosack said in a release. “When I began planning this project with [C.O.C.O.A. House Executive Director] Will [Rivas], we were uncertain how much money we would be able to raise. I want to say a special thank you to everyone who has donated and supported Kozi’s Kids. The outreach from the community has been extremely special and we are so thankful for all the support.”

Kosack and C.O.C.O.A. House Executive Director Will Rivas shopped for and delivered $10,000 worth of gifts over the course of two days. The cost of the Kozi’s Kids Lounge is estimated at approximately $10,000, with the remaining $25,000 donated as unrestricted funds to pursue other projects. 

In two years, Kosack has raised more than $50,000 for C.O.C.O.A. House.

“Working with Josh over the last two and a half years has been nothing short of inspirational,” Rivas said. “He invited the youth from our community to hockey games to provide an experience they may not have had before. Not only has he invited them to hockey games, but he made it his mission during a pandemic to volunteer with the program and spend time with the kids: watching movies, doing homework, and playing games.”

Categories: College Sports, News, Schenectady, Schenectady County, Sports, Union College

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