Ken Brown takes the reins at The Fellowship Cup
By MEGAN COOPER
Mt. Pleasant News
“This community has a great sense of togetherness. Their warmth helps to warm me up from these cold temperatures,” said the new executive director of The Fellowship Cup Ken Brown. He has been in the position for about two weeks now.
Brown was originally from Boston, Mass., but when he was 16 he moved to Charleston, S.C. where he then joined the Air Force. He remained with the Air Force for 20 years.
According to Brown, the reason he moved to Iowa now was because it was time for him to follow his wife, Audra, as she had followed him so many times before.
“I thought it was fair to finally move somewhere she wanted,” Brown began, laughing. “I’m sure she followed me to some places while I was in the Air Force that she didn’t want to. She’s from Wapello, so it was time to come back here. We spent summers here and I liked it, so it was a good decision.”
He has two daughters, one who is 27 and lives in Augusta, Ga. and another who is 13. He also has a granddaughter.
Moving here, Brown wasn’t quite sure what he was going to do, but he had a vast background of knowledge and his wife saw the advertisement for The Fellowship Cup, and he felt that it was a good fit.
“I love helping people as that is what I did in the Air Force. I worked in services and so we would put up the tent cities and help people. I also am a physical trainer, so that of course is helping people as well. I like that The Fellowship Cup gives people that little assistance they need to get back on their feet,” Brown said. “With my faith and the churches I have been to, I have done this type of work before. It’s a perfect for fit for my wife’s desires and God’s.”
Brown has quite a bit of experience with working with the community. He has worked in counseling, community outreach and even initiated a non-profit program in South Carolina.
“The program was called Push-Up and Up, and basically it started by me doing as many push-ups as I could in 45 minutes. People would then donate so much money for each push-up. The first year we did this, we raised $10,000. We then got schools and local businesses involved and by the year 2007, we had raised over $140,000 and we put that money into another non-profit program that helped the community and schools. The program helped at-risk students stay in school and graduate, because at the time, the graduation rate in South Carolina was about 50 percent.”
According to Brown, he would like to start this type of program here, as fitness is also a big part of who he is.
“My background in fitness can help the health of the community. I want people to get up and move. They need to realize that they have the tools already and their body is meant to move,” Brown explained. “I would like to bring the Push-Up and Up program here and focus on strength. Everyone has 5Ks, this is something different.”
So far, Brown really likes that working for The Fellowship Cup presents a new challenge every day. He enjoys the problem solving and the fact that it keeps you on your toes.
“I just love the challenge and meeting new people, that’s great as well,” Brown added.
The future is a bright one for Brown as he hopes to keep building on the foundation that former executive director, Melissa Bracht-Wagner started.
“I want to keep going from where the previous director ended. I want to build on that. I will look at current programs and make sure they are effective. I want to start ones to help the community build relationships and move on my vision, which is to include the people, businesses and churches.”
The Fellowship Cup, added Brown, does food distribution, which is the biggest program and it is a daily thing. It also raises school supplies for students and families in need, holds a sack lunch program during the summer for kids who need lunches (normally the ones with free lunch), has the Quarter Maybe More store which helps raise money for other programs and administers the RSVP program, which helps people get to their medical appointments.