Former Beaver Football captains helping give back during Christmas season

Former Beaver Football captains helping give back during Christmas season
Friday, October 26, 2018
Former Beaver Football captains helping give back during Christmas season

BEMIDJI, Minn. -- During the season of giving, two former Bemidji State University football student-athletes and captains have made their impact felt while serving on the Board of Directors of the Minnesota-based non-profit Best Christmas Ever (BCE). Former Beavers Jason Kunz and Dr. James Midboe put their talents to work to help give back to hundreds of families in need during Christmas throughout the United States, Canada and Costa Rica.

Kunz has served as president with Midboe as vice president for BCE over the past six years. Kunz, along with lifelong friend Don Liimatainen, co-founded BCE in 2011 with a vision to lift up families who have fallen on hard times through no-fault of their own. After helping one family in Duluth, Minn., in 2011, the number of families to receive a BCE has doubled each year.

Families are nominated by their communities and selected by local leaders (“captains”) and business sponsors. The families are then blessed at Christmastime with a surprise gift delivery, selected specifically for the family’s needs. In 2018, with the help of its captains and over 80 business sponsors, BCE will help give back to 200 families, nationwide. Each family will receive between $5,000 and $30,000 in total value in items specific to their needs.

The Minnesota Vikings, one of BCE’s business sponsors since 2015, are helping the cause ahead of their Sunday night matchup against the New Orleans Saints. The Vikings are encouraging fans to donate to Saints’ punter Thomas Morstead’s foundation – What You Give Will Grow (WYGWG). The organization will split the donations between the Minnesota and New Orleans markets, each to their respective BCE programs. The Vikings will also bless two families this holiday season.

Along with raising money for BCE in both Minnesota and New Orleans at, fans are encouraged to nominate a family in need nationwide along with becoming a BCE “Captain” to bless a family in need. To become a BCE “Captain” or sponsor, visit

For more information on the Bemidji State athletic programs, tickets or schedules, visit, follow the Beavers on Twitter (@BSUBeavers or @BSUBeaversFB), like them on Facebook ( or or sign up for the TXTUpdates from text-messaging system through the "Multimedia" pull down menu on the main page of

Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).