Annual Manual » Annual Manual: Hoods

Face of Kuna: Kenny Carver

Les Schwab manger helps create a rallying point

by

Few scenes scream small-town Americana more than everyone heading out to the local high-school football game to cheer the team to victory.

It's a scene played out many autumn nights in Kuna, where the community comes out to support the Kuna Kavemen. But like any great team, it's what happens behind the scenes and out of the lights that is making the Kavemen the heroes of the town.

Leading the rallying cry is Kenny Carver, who by day manages the Les Schwab tire shop in Kuna and in his off time is the president of the football boosters. Since moving to town less than three years ago, Carver found his volunteer calling by helping to make sure every student who wants to play can join the team.

"Schools never have money. What money they do have, they don't want to go to sports," Carver said. "My job is to get the money so the kids who can't afford to play can play; the kids who can't afford a pair of shoes have them."

Carver moved himself and his family to Kuna for a job, after multiple moves around the Northwest. While he volunteered when he could elsewhere, it wasn't until he landed in the Treasure Valley that Carver dove into his off-the-clock work with the Kuna Football Boosters (: kunafootball.com: )

"Kuna, for some reason, when we moved here, just felt like home," he said. "This, by far, has the best people in it as far as community."

As his sons--ages 10 and 15--became involved in activities, Carver started to notice that not everyone was on an even playing field. It was that realization that prompted him to start doing what he could.

He started by helping the school not only purchase but manage advertising boards in the gymnasium--a program that brings in about $5,000 a year.

Before he fully knew what he was in for, Carver was president of the football boosters club, organizing fundraisers and working with area businesses to secure donations.

"There are not a lot of businesses here, but they are huge supporters when it comes to kids," he said.

In addition to selling football merchandise, building floats, helping with team hell week and raising money for new uniforms, Carver and his fellow boosters also organize post-home game meals for the entire community, serving an average of 300 people after each game.

Carver admits that he has lofty goals for what the community and the football program can do for each other, but he's OK with that.

"The town shuts down on game day--that's what I see in another two years on a town level," he said. "When it's game day ... everybody's at the football game."