Matt Froggatte has a passion for kids, a passion that led to him to a number of leadership roles in his community and school district.
Froggatte, 43, Williamsburg, serves as president of the Williamsburg Recreation Commission, chairman of the West Franklin Recreation Commission, vice president of the West Franklin school board, in addition to working full-time at Waechter LLC in Emporia, remodeling homes through his own business and being a parent and foster parent.
“We’ve [Froggatte and wife, Heather] got four kids of our own and we also have three foster kids right now,” he said. “I’ve got a lot of love for kids in our community and wanted to get involved and try and help better the institution.”
It’s a ‘If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem kind of deal.’ I just wanted to give back in any way I could.”
In addition to the many years he’s put into his community, Froggatte also has delved into the foster care system for children, which he became familiar with after his brother, Kevin and his wife, Kim, became foster parents.
“My wife and I had a desire to adopt,” Froggatte said. “The adoption process is so expensive to do it the traditional way. We looked into the different opportunities to foster to adopt, which we did foster to adopt one of our sons of the four kids we have now.”
The Froggattes are currently in the process of trying to adopt another one of their foster children, a 1-year-old baby girl, whom they’ve had since she was four days old, Froggatte said.
“It’s a learning curve for the entire family, trying to go from being number one to there’s a whole bunch of us that are number one now,” he said.
“It’s also taught our kids to be humble and to appreciate the things they have. There’s a lot of really positive things that have come out of it for our entire family. For our kids, they have learned that there’s others that maybe don’t have as much as they do.”
When Froggatte isn’t working full-time, serving on the two recreation commissions or on the West Franklin School board, he’s still busy with coaching three sports and remodeling homes.
“In our spare time, we’re either coaching ball, playing ball or rehabbing a house,” Froggatte said with a laugh.
Froggatte, along with his wife and partners, Jim and Kim Link, also of Williamsburg, own LinkFrog Investments LLC, where they remodel houses in Williamsburg.
“We remodel them and either rent them out or help families get started back on their feet by selling them a home on contract for deed and giving them four or five years to be able to go out and get a regular commercial loan,” Froggatte said.
“Some of the homes in Williamsburg, just to be honest, have started to deteriorate and so we did it to try and help the community and build the enrollment in our school district. In all of our homes, we try to put in a family that has children so we’re trying to bring young families into the community to build the community and build the school in our own way. It’s a small way we can help.”
Since the partners began the venture in August of 2015 after a beautification group in Williamsburg was searching for someone to remodel homes, they have rehabbed seven homes in a short six-month span, he said.
“It’s kind of, ‘If you don’t do it, you cant expect anybody else to,’’’ Froggatte said. “If you have a complaint about what’s going on in your community or your surroundings, you’ve got to be a part of fixing it or you’ve just got to sit back and complain and keep your mouth shut..”
Kate Shelton is a Herald staff writer. Email her at email@example.com Follow her on Twitter at @kshelton323