Life in Scottsdale, Buckeye style
Alum targets young crowd for game-day fun and fundraisers.
Kevin Fox ’95 has lived 1,875 miles from Columbus for the past 18 years. He liked his work and the life he created in Scottsdale, Arizona, but he missed the excitement of his beloved Buckeye Nation.
So, in 2006, he launched the Young Buckeyes of Phoenix Alumni Club. Created for graduates 40 and younger, the offshoot of the Ohio State Alumni Club of Phoenix offers opportunities for social activities, community service, business networking and fundraising events.
Fox ’ 95, a senior marketing consultant at CRC Broadcasting Inc., has been pleased with the results. As president of the young alumni club, the Upper Sandusky, Ohio, native has seen membership grow to more than 800.
Fox also chairs the Ohio State game-day experience for the Alumni Club of Phoenix. He’s grown the weekly football game watches to an average of 400 fans for early games and 600-plus for late matchups.
“Volunteering for Ohio State feeds my soul for something greater than me,” Fox said. “I benefit as much as anyone I help. Sharing the passion and love for a great community like Ohio State never gets old.”
Four years ago, he co-founded a “Buck Breast Cancer” annual fundraiser to benefit the Stefanie Spielman Fund — more than $40,000 has been raised so far — and nine years ago he co-founded a professional networking group called Buckeye 2 Buckeye to help graduates and Phoenix-area businesses with Buckeye ties. He’s also involved in the club’s student scholarship selection process and college fairs.
“Being a Buckeye is much bigger than just Ohio State or the great state of Ohio,” Fox said. “It’s a sense of community that defines your way of life and connects you with the world through one common goal.”
What made you choose Ohio State for college?
Ohio State is my first true love. I never would have considered going anywhere else. My grandma raised me, and it was her wish to see me graduate. I was the first in my family to pursue a college degree. She passed 10 months before I graduated.
You married a fellow Buckeye?
My wife Jessica [Plummer] Fox is from Zanesville and a grad of Ohio State. She was on the all-girls recreational cheer squad and graduated in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in communications. We met in Arizona during our Buckeye football game-watch parties.
Why did you start football game-watch parties in Phoenix?
With the time difference, a noon game is 9 a.m. out here so a lot of places aren’t open. I found a bar owned by an Ohio State alum. He agreed to give it a try. I think 10 or 11 people showed up the first week. Now we shut down the streets, bring in a band and have big screens. For the Michigan game, there’s a line at 7 a.m.
How did “Buck Breast Cancer” evolve from your watch parties?
When Stefanie [Spielman] passed in 2009, Ohio State did the “Pink Outs” in the ’Shoe. We did that at our game-watch parties, too. Then, one year, Ohio State stopped doing it ,and a group of women wanted to keep it going. I created BBC in 2011 with Stephanie Van Heyde, Terri O’Shaughnessy and Jerry Glaser to raise money for the Stefanie Spielman Fund.
How do you raise money at this event?
We keep our event very simple. We raffle off autographed memorabilia, trips, gift certificates and other high-end giveaways. We sell BBC shirts and apparel. We also did sponsorships this year. For $5, you could write a dedication on a pink ribbon and we strung them up across the bar. We displayed over 300 ribbons.
What is Buckeye 2 Buckeye?
Buckeye 2 Buckeye is the professional networking arm to our local alumni club, providing job-placement assistance, networking events, mentoring and relocation support for all Buckeyes. We help Buckeye-owned businesses connect with other like-minded Buckeyes.
If students or alumni asked why they should volunteer, what would you say?
Volunteering can be very personal, so I would say to dig deep and find what truly makes you happy. Align your passions with opportunities. The energy is contagious, so engage those around you and watch your involvement and your community grow.