MEDFORD, Ore. — A Who’s Who of Rogue Valley sports icons showed up in Medford on Friday for the 5th Annual Cota-Singler Auction. The auction’s held every year here in the Valley to raise money for Kids Unlimited, an agency dedicated to providing after school programs, summer camps and other community events for local children.
Among the items being auctioned off for the charity were a Drew Brees autographed football and a Kyle Singler autographed Real Madrid jersey. Singler played for Real Madrid last season in the Spanish League. Kids Unlimited is a non-profit organization that has served the Rogue Valley for nearly a decade.
Executive Director Tom Cole said that year by year organizers of the event surpass their goals. “We always start with, ‘Can we get our friends and family to occupy the room?’ We’ve done a successful job at that. It’s a sold-out event. Each year we’ve continued to generate more money. Our biggest thing has always been to support kids and to remove barriers of why they can’t participate in activities that are really important to education. Our biggest focus is making sure that school’s a priority and leveraging a lot of enrichment programs, whether it’s sports, arts or dance. The things that will motivate kids to do well and see themselves being anything they want to be.”
The namesakes behind the auction are of course local athletes Chad Cota and Kyle Singler. Cota is a former Ashland High Grizzly and Oregon Duck and later played eight years in the NFL. Singler was a South Medford basketball player before attending Duke and is now preparing for his rookie year in the NBA.
Through the charity, the two have become friends despite playing different sports, and while Singler has spent the past year in Europe and now gears up for his NBA career in Detroit, Cota has settled down in Medford where he is raising two boys.
Yet they both joined together on this night to raise money for the community that helped them launch their athletic careers. Singler said that he has so many memories here in Medford and he and Cota feel that giving back to the local kids is the ultimate goal.