Tony, The Tiger: ‘Chaperone’ reliably faithful CF supporter

For 30 years straight, Tony Kramer has been attending every sporting event of the Cedar Valley. Kramer started following the Waterloo Bucks baseball team, and from then on his love of community sports grew.

Kramer started going to the games with friend Dan Hoppas and soon became a big fan of high school football, basketball, volleyball, softball, wrestling and more. Now fans can catch Tony in support at every game.

“I go to all of it. I’m even on TV, a celebrity,” Kramer said.

Tony has continually made an effort to support and follow all of the high school sporting events. He even rides on the bus to the UNI Dome with the football team and rides with them to the away games.

“I ride the team bus. I’m involved. I’m the chaperone, have to keep all of them in line.”

Lots of people around the community have helped Kramer travel and get to the games throughout the years, including Dan Deery, Greg Starbeck, a couple of high school students and many others.

Senior Sam Cirksena has enjoyed numerous bus rides with “the chaperone” throughout his high school football career and has given Kramer rides home after basketball games as well.

“In the student section, we just embrace him, cheer with him and talk to him a lot,” Cirksena said.

Cirksena described Kramer as a genuinely nice guy.

“I enjoy being around him. We always have a good time. He’s just really fun to be around.”

Kramer said he enjoys going to all sporting events because it is fun to go and watch not only because he loves sports but also he knows all the students.

“It’s just fun. I like all of them, and I cheer everyone up at the games,” he said.

Kramer said he loves to attend the basketball games because they are exciting, and he gets to help out. He will help the coaches with whatever they need, including collecting the basketballs and even shooting basketballs with the players sometimes.

“It feels good, all the support and help people give,” Kramer said.

Kramer has recently been in trouble with some health issues and has found out he has diabetes. Jenny Allen, a Northstar worker, helps Kramer only two hours a week in order to make sure he knows what to do, gets to doctors appointments, reads his mail and knows how to deal with diabetes.

Right now they are looking for someone to help Tony with working out and eating right, and they encourage anyone interested in helping to contact Kramer.

Allen and Kramer met when he was in high school at River Hills. Allen was in charge of helping those with disabilities find jobs throughout the community before graduation.

“I was his job coach,” Allen said as she smiled.

Throughout the years, Kramer and Allen have not only made a lot of progress throughout the challenges faced but also have made quite the friendship too.

“I am so incredibly happy. We wish everyone had the life that Tony has. He is one of a kind,” Allen said.

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