Since 2017, the Multnomah Athletic Foundation (MAF) has been honoring the spirit of Leland “Bud” Lewis by presenting the Bud Award, which is rooted in sportsmanship, enthusiasm, and a passion for athletics. The prize is offered to community grant recipients who demonstrate those same qualities, especially those providing access and opportunities to youth from under- served communities.
Diane Lewis, daughter of Bud Lewis, believes the award is a perfect tribute to her father. “It encourages others to strive to become their best selves,” she says.
Building on the positive legacy of Bud Lewis himself, the Bud Award is meant to reach far beyond the field or court, and so, MAF is excited to announce Active Children Portland (ACP) as the recipient of the 2021 Bud Award. ACP provides community-oriented, mentor-led, after- school programming for kindergarten through eighth grade kids in underserved Portland Metro neighborhoods. Their free programming ensures kids have access to a safe space to focus on soccer, nutrition, creative writing, and service learning, all of which are designed to help build confidence and keep them healthy and succeeding in school. “We don’t use volunteers to help facilitate programming, we use coach mentors, many of whom have ties to these communities or grew up in them,” says Active Children Portland Executive Director Kimberly Bergstrom.
MAF provided grant funds that were used toward start-up costs for ACP’s two new expansion sites serving some of Portland’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods, and the reinstatement of summer programming. “What many people don’t know is that Active Children Portland is a small nonprofit without government funding, so groups like MAF are the driving force behind making a difference and helping kids disproportionately affected by COVID-19,” says Bergstrom. “After 10 years of hard work, we are now at 32 schools, a long way from the original six we started with.”
With each passing year, the Bud Award expands its reach and influence, and the Multnomah Athletic Foundation and its grant recipients are excited to be part of that progress. For more information on Active Children Portland, please visit ACPortland.org.