PITTSBURG —  Pittsburg State University and the Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce kicked-off the 34th Annual Community Campaign on Thursday at Block22.
The campaign creates partnerships between the university and local businesses where businesses can give back to the community through monetary donations, giving gifts in kind, hiring students, offering internships and being a mentor, Director of Annual Giving Kati Karleskint said.
Each year, two community co-chairs are selected to help with the campaign. This year’s co-chairs are Zac Dickey and Monica Kellogg. Both are PSU alumni.
Dickey earned his bachelor’s in 2012 from and now owns Next Generation Insurance. Kellogg, earned her bachelor’s in 1991 from and her master’s in 1992 and now owns her own CPA firm.
During the gathering, PSU President Steve Scott presented the 14th Annual Rex Crowley Outstanding Partner in Progress Award to brothers John and Phil Minton, who both attended PSU and founded Jock’s Nitch in 1979.
“It recognizes the members of the Pittsburg community who have shown civic leadership and outstanding service to both Pittsburg State University and this community,” Scott said.
Jock’s Nitch currently operates four stores in Kansas and one in Missouri.
“They take pride in the community they serve by offering top quality apparel and merchandise for fans in the community and I’m a regular customer myself,” Scott said. “They’ve had a local landmark in downtown Pittsburg for nearly 40 years and we’re pleased to join you downtown.”
The Mintons support PSU athletics through Jock’s Nitch — which was recently awarded the Adidas contract for PSU uniforms. The Pittsburg store offers PSU faculty, staff and students discounts on Adidas merchandise.
They also supported PSU ROTC by developing the Sgt. 1st Class Forest Robertson Memorial Scholarship, and they have a long history of employing PSU students and graduates in a variety of roles.  
“I was talking to John one day and he said during that very first game when those kids ran out in our uniforms, he said ‘I bet I had a tear in my eye’,” Scott said. “That’s the kind of passion and commitment they have to Pittsburg State University and certainly to this community.”
The Mintons said they are proud to be affiliated with PSU and Pittsburg.
“I came here in 1979 to attend Pitt State University, it’s hard to believe I’m here 40 years later, I have a great time with Pittsburg State University,” Phil Minton said. “I’m very proud of the development of downtown Pittsburg, it’s great to see the success of Block22.”  
— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at spotter@morningsun.net or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.