Heritage Associates Kevin and Bonnie Kookogey of Franklin, TN, support The Heritage Foundation — not just as principled conservatives, but also as concerned citizens. “My wife and I are both very passionate about America — we love our country,” explains Kevin, a music industry veteran who manages a prominent band. “Other than our church, Heritage is the most important group we can give to — because the situation our country is facing right now is probably more serious than at any time in our history.” Kevin’s concern for America — plus his love of reading and his commitment to conservative ideas — is reflected in his personal library.
I’m in the music industry, and my office used to be decorated with gold records and posters of artists,” Kevin says. “Now it’s covered with books on political philosophy and history, as well as The Heritage Guide to the Constitution.
Though politically involved at the local level — he’s on the Executive Committee of the Republican Party in Williamson County, recently designated as the most conservative county in the nation and a bellwether for Tennessee state politics — Kevin refuses to let partisanship come before principle.
“In the 2008 campaign I was critical of several Republican candidates who sent me fundraising letters,” Kevin recalls. “I told them, ‘Until you change direction, I’m giving all my money to Heritage, because they’re doing a lot more for our country than you are.’”
Kevin is doing plenty for the country and the conservative movement himself, specifically by mentoring high school and college students. “I want to make sure that these young people have a good footing in the intellectual and historical basis of the conservative movement and how it pertains to their liberties and how it affects their daily lives,” says Kevin.
His required reading list includes Russell Kirk’s The Roots of American Order— a book he discovered through a mention by Heritage President Ed Feulner, and the inspiration for his own book, The Inheritance, an illustrated allegory about the need to preserve liberty in America.
Always generous with great ideas, Kevin has given copies of The Roots of American Order to friends and family members and recently recommended it to a conservative running for Congress in Tennessee. Kevin is also spreading the conservative message on a number of issues and making the most of the resources available to Heritage members. “Most recently I’ve been showing the 33 Minutes documentary on missile defense,” Kevin reports. These screenings are helping inspire others to share his passion for protecting America. “The reaction is amazing,” he says. “People are always saying to me, ‘Why aren’t we taking care of this? What can I do?’” On that question, Kevin and Bonnie Kookogey lead by example by taking an active role in strengthening their community, their country, and the conservative movement — and especially The Heritage Foundation.
As Heritage Associates, the Kookogeys attended their first Annual Leadership Conference and Board Meeting this year. “It was fantastic,” Kevin says. “We feel even more connected to Heritage — it was like family. We met a lot of people we had seen before at President’s Club Meetings, and now I feel like we know them more personally. I’m very excited about building those relationships.”
As home school parents to their six children, ages 3 through 13, Kevin and Bonnie have the flexibility of incorporating Heritage research and resources into their children’s education. They make the most of it, especially when one of their kids is working on a writing assignment and needs up-to-date information that’s relevant to what’s going on in the world. “The Heritage data is incredible,” Kevin says. “It’s instructive on current events. We frequently talk about the day’s issues from the Morning Bell.”