We’re starting off the year with big news at TFK! On January 1, 2017, we merged Minneapolis-based Tix for Tots into the organization. After more than two years of exploration and discussion, all agreed that our two organizations, with nearly identical missions, would be able to create even more opportunities for disadvantaged kids by joining forces. We couldn’t be more excited to welcome our Twin Cities staff, Betsy Tate Anderson and Emily Wilant to the Tickets for Kids family. You can read the official news release is below.
Pittsburgh — (January 4, 2017) Tickets for Kids® Charities (TFK) announced today that it has merged Minneapolis-based Tix for Tots into the organization.
Founded in Pittsburgh in 1994, TFK provides opportunities for low-income and at-risk kids to access the cultural, arts, sports and entertainment venues of their communities through partnership with social service agencies and ticket donors. Since its inception, TFK has distributed more than 2 million tickets valued in excess of $48 million. Last year, approximately 165,000 tickets were donated to the organization(s) from individuals and institutions alike, then distributed to children through vetted social service agency partners.
“This merger will not only result in a stronger organization, but it will enhance our ability to impact the lives of low-income and at-risk kids across the country,” said TFK Executive Director Jason J. Riley. “We’ll be able to provide our services in the most efficient way possible.”
Tix for Tots, serving greater Minneapolis-St. Paul, worked with a parallel vision and mission to Tickets for Kids since 2000. The two organizations first worked together in 2014, when Major League Baseball’s FanFest took place in Minneapolis. While collaborating to distribute no-cost tickets to under-resourced kids for the baseball-themed convention, a vision to expand through a combined effort began to form.
On January 1st, Tix for Tots ceased to be a legal entity, and its programs are now under the brand and governance of Tickets for Kids.
“This endeavor will allow us to impact thousands more kids across the country,” said Tix for Tots founder Robb Neuenschwander. “I couldn’t be happier to take this next step in our evolution.”
“By providing the ticket opportunities through our partnerships with more than 3,500 social service agencies, we’re able to facilitate experiences to art, culture, sport and entertainment in the context of an established support system … one that can foster the growth of an interest inspired by a kid’s first experience at the theater, science center, or ballpark,” said Riley.
Prior to the merger, TFK had grown its national scope through partnerships with ticket providers such as Major League Baseball, Feld Entertainment, Inc. (Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, Disney on Ice, Monster Jam), and Cirque du Soleil. Last November, TFK established its first remote-staff presence in Philadelphia. With the merger of Tix for Tots into the organization, TFK will acquire staff in the Twin Cities, who will work to deepen Tickets for Kids’ mid-west relationships, outreach and impact.