What’s Going on…

Spring 2018 Newsletter from the Multnomah Athletic Foundation

Photo by Tim Gunther

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If you’re reading this, you probably already know that we partner with dozens of youth sports organizations, and award scholarships to about 40 inspiring teens throughout the metro area. How do we do it? Through the tireless work of our volunteers!  

And this year, they worked harder than ever before. In 2018, we moved our Loprinzi Scholarship application online, and offered it to applicants from each of the area’s 29 schools. Our tireless volunteers pored over applications, selecting one semifinalist from each school. Scholarship review took place during facilitated conversations and meetings, with a final review team deliberating over which semifinalists would be awarded the annual Loprinzi Scholarships. Those discussions weren’t easy. Some of the area’s most talented teens put their name in the hat this year.

“The process of evaluating the candidates was amazing and fun!” says grant review volunteer Cathy Haneberg. “I was impressed with the talent, intelligence and drive of each of the applicants. All were very qualified, and it was a hard choice to narrow down the field.”

Look for more on the Loprinzi Scholarship winners in August, when we announce them at our inaugural scholarship event.

Twelve Teens. Three Months. $5,000.

Give a teen a grant, and you’ll fuel her success. Teach her to give grants, and you’ll fuel a lifetime of commitment to the success of others.

That was the premise behind our inaugural Youth Grant Initiative, which gave a dozen seventh and eighth graders a chance to award $5,000 in grant money. The students took home a sense of satisfaction at awarding two worthy organizations, but they also learned some valuable lessons about leadership, community engagement and the value of relationships.

“It was a great opportunity to have an impact on something meaningful – that is sometimes hard for a teen,” said program participant Maya Sykes, an eighth grader at Sellwood Middle School.

“A lot of the things I learned from this I did not know at all, like nonprofit, government, and corporate aspects and how they all fit together in philanthropy,” says seventh grader Harrison Talcott of West Sylvan Middle School. “They do not teach you that stuff in school.”

Our youth grant team evaluated grant applications, worked together to review and research organizations, and dove headfirst into the group decision-making process. The final session of the program was a deliberation and decision on how to best allocate $5,000 in grants to local organizations that have applied to the foundation.

“I want to give to organizations who help kids who haven’t had the same opportunities that I’ve had,” said another YGI team member. “Even though one of the great things about sports is that you can pick up and play anywhere, more organized sports are too expensive for a lot of families.”

The 2017 YGI participants forged new friendships, and came away asking how they could raise more money to donate.

Ultimately, the group awarded grants to Girls Inc’s GoGirlGo program and Parrott Creek Child and Family Service’s boys soccer program.

The program was such a success that we’re going to do it all over again! Teens interested in being a part of the Youth Grant Initiative for the fall 2018 program should apply by June 12 at 5 PM. Click here for details.

Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

High-Intensity Fun

There’s a growing movement in MAC’s sub-basement. And movement is the key word here, because folks rarely stop moving in Molly Sparkman and Kaulike Souza’s boxing classes in the Team Training Room. Participants work on the heavy bag, learn footwork, spar with the trainers and get a killer strength and cardio workout.

And in February, they helped KO barriers for kids in our community, raising money for the Foundation’s Community Grant Program during the inaugural Box-a-thon. During the event, members signed up for 30-minute slots, punching their way through seven rounds of three minutes each, with a minute off in between. Along the way, they raised $1,600 for our community grant partners like Knott Street Boxing, Rip City Boxing and others.

The Box-a-thon was a unique way to raise money while keeping the focus on a key part of the Foundation’s mission – athletics! It also worked as a nice companion to the annual Spin-a-thon, providing opportunities for those of you who might prefer the heavy bag over the bike.

To learn more about Molly and Kaulike’s growing boxing program, click here.