Saucony's Run for Good Foundation Awards Latest Round of Grant Winners
Run for Good Foundation awards grants and announces biannual grant to be awarded in name of 2008 Olympic sprinter and Saucony athlete Wallace Spearmon, Jr. to support track and field programs benefiting at-risk youth.
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LEXINGTON, MA â€” March 3, 2010 â€” The Saucony Run For Goodsm Foundation, established to help combat childhood obesity by providing financial support to community-based youth running programs, has announced its latest round of grant winners. The nine grant recipients include organizations from Greenville, Michigan to Greenville, South Carolina, and New Hampshire to Washington, a state with nearly the highest rate of obese children (21%) in the country.
In a recent press conference, First Lady Michelle Obama said the fight against childhood obesity is â€œabsolutely vitalâ€. She revealed the sad statistics: “Nearly one in three of our children in this country is overweight or obese. One in three kids today will eventually develop diabetesâ€”and in the African-American and Hispanic communities the number is nearly half.â€
Saucony’s Run for Goodsm Foundation continues to combat these startling childhood obesity rates. Since the program’s 2006 launch, Saucony Run for Goodsm has given more than half a million dollars to nearly 60 organizations nationwide, all to promote running as part of a healthy, active lifestyleâ€”for life.
â€œObesity and other health concerns have grown to pandemic levels in children, with lack of physical activity, poor dietary habits, and lack of nutrition education to blame,â€ said Richie Woodworth, president of the Saucony Run for Goodsm Board of Directors and of Saucony, Inc., a subsidiary of Collective Brands, Inc. (PSS) and a leading global supplier of performance athletic footwear and apparel. â€œSaucony launched the Run for Goodsm Foundation to help communities build local programs that will arm our children with the knowledge and tools they need to get running and to live and maintain healthier lives.â€
The Saucony Run For Good Foundation also announced that biannually, a Run For Good grant will be made in the name of 2008 Olympic sprinter and Saucony athlete Wallace Spearmon, Jr. to be awarded to community organizations that support opportunities for at-risk youth to participate in track and field. The inaugural grant was awarded as part of the latest round to Boston-based Youth Enrichment Services (YES) to support a year-round, inter-neighborhood track and field program that will reach out to more than 1,500 inner-city youth participants.
A recent article in USA Today highlights physical fitness as the key means to fighting childhood obesity: â€œMany exercise experts believe children today are too sedentary, which contributes to excess weight in one-third of children in the USA. The government’s physical activity guidelines recommend that children and teens do an hour or more of moderate-intensity to vigorous activity a day.â€
â€œWith obesity on the rise, we all agree that kids are in dire need of more active lifestyles,â€ said Susan K. Hartman, associate publisher of Runner’s World magazine and a member of the Saucony Run for Goodsm Foundation Board of Directors. â€œThe Saucony Run for Goodsm Foundation inspires and supports entire communities to promote and encourage healthier lifestyles for happier, fuller lives,â€ she said.
The following organizations have been selected to receive a Saucony Run for Goodsm Foundation grant:
Active4Youth, Spokane, WA
Active4Youth is a volunteer-run community organization striving to revitalize after-school sports for elementary-aged children in Spokane Public Schools, starting with the most popular sport: Cross Country. Active4Youth will use the funds to support the second season of the cross-country program established last year at all 34 elementary schools in the district. The program focuses on teaching kids how to enjoy physical activity while balancing nutrition, sleep and hydration. www.active4youth.com
Central Virginia YMCA, Lynchburg, VA
For over 150 years, the YMCA of Central Virginia has been at the heart of the community in the greater Lynchburg area. It has encouraged the healthy development of children and teens, strengthened families and made the Lynchburg area a healthier, safer and better place to live. The Central Virginia YMCA will use the grant money to add the â€œRun for a Reasonâ€ program to 14 area-wide schools. This program will teach kids how to have fun while exercising and how to eat healthier. www.lynchburgymca.com
Greenville Track Club, Greenville, SC
The goal of the Greenville Track Club is to serve the community through running. Most Greenville Track Club events include races and programs for children to establish year-round wellness and lifelong healthy lifestyle habits. With the grant money, Greenville Track Club will provide assistance for 50-100 children to run regularly and ultimately participate in a 5K run. The grant will target underserved populations and provide these children with group training and running gear. www.greenvilletrackclub.com
Greenville Public Schools, Greenville, MI
The Greenville Public Schools formed a district-wide Wellness Team in 2005. Brought together as a result of a Federal mandate to develop a school wellness policy, one key goal of the Wellness Team is to continually provide opportunities for students to participate in after-school exercise. With the grant money, the Wellness Team will expand a pilot program running club to target over 700 students. http://www.greenville.k12.mi.us/
Kent Parks, Recreation and Community Services, Kent, WA
The City Of Kent Parks, Recreation and Community Service Department plans and provides meaningful community sports and recreation programming. The grant money will fund a scholarship program that provides financial assistance to kids that cannot afford the registration fee for the community track team. Over half of the students are minorities. http://www.kentparksandrec.com/
Manchester Marathon Association (MMA), Manchester, NH
MMA is a small non-profit focused on promoting health, well-being and fitness in the community by organizing high-quality running events for all ages. Funding will enable MMA to purchase running shoes for participants in a variety of running programs. The programs are both school and community based, incorporate primarily low-income schools, and aim to teach kids the healthy habits of running and/or walking for physical fitness and well-being.
Sports4Kids/Playworks, Milpitas, CA
The Sports4Kids/Playworks seeks to improve the health and well-being of children by increasing opportunities for physical activity and safe, meaningful play. With the grant money, Sports4Kids/Playworks will expand their running club to 24 low-income elementary schools. Full-time onsite coordinators will implement structured recess, physical activity classes, youth leadership, an afterschool program and developmental sports leagues. www.playworksusa.com
The Children’s Aid Society, New York, NY
For over 155 years, The Children’s Aid Society has worked at the frontlines to provide New York City’s most vulnerable children with the care they need to be safe and healthy and continue on a positive pathway to adulthood. With the grant money, The Children’s Aid Society will implement a running club at two sites. Over six weeks and 18 sessions, thirty 7-17-year-olds will participate in a regimented program that consists of intensive walking/running training, self-esteem building and leadership development. www.childrensaidsociety.org
Youth Enrichment Services (YES), Boston, MA
(Wallace Spearmon, Jr. Run For Good Grant)
As a leading youth organization in Boston, YES enables underserved, at-risk youth to take positive risks through a continuum of opportunities for participation. With the grant money, YES will expand a year-round track and field program for children 18 and under and provide additional opportunities for youth from which to benefit. www.yeskids.org
For grant applications and more information on how the Saucony Run for Goodsm Foundation can help kids in local communities nationwide (maybe yours!), please visit www.sauconyrunforgood.com.
About the Saucony Run for GoodSM Foundation: The Saucony Run for Good Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization committed to improving the lives of children by helping to prevent and reduce childhood obesity. The Foundation acts to inform the public about its cause and prevention and provide funding to optimize the impact and success of community organizations that promote running and healthy lifestyle programs for youth. For more information about Saucony’s Run for GoodSM Foundation, please visit http://www.sauconyrunforgood.com/.
About Saucony, Inc.: Saucony, Inc., a subsidiary of Collective Brands, Inc., is a leading global supplier of performance athletic footwear and apparel with its widely recognized brands Saucony and Saucony Originals. For more information, go to www.saucony.com.
About Collective Brands, Inc.: Collective Brands, Inc. (NYSE: PSS) is a leader in bringing compelling lifestyle, fashion and performance brands for footwear and related accessories to consumers worldwide. The company operates three strategic units covering a powerful brand portfolio, as well as multiple price points and selling channels including retail, wholesale, ecommerce and licensing. Collective Brands, Inc. includes Payless ShoeSource, focused on democratizing fashion and design in footwear and accessories through its nearly 4,500-store retail chain, with its brands AirwalkÂ®, DexterÂ®, ChampionÂ®, Zoe & Zacâ„¢, the first-ever affordable green footwear brand, and designer collections Lela Rose for Payless, Unforgettable Moments by Lela Rose, alice + olivia for Payless, Christian Siriano for Payless and STLP x Airwalk, among others; Collective Brands Performance + Lifestyle Group, focused on lifestyle and performance branded footwear and high-quality children’s footwear sold primarily through wholesaling, with its brands including Stride RiteÂ®, KedsÂ®, Sperry Top-SiderÂ®, RobeezÂ®, and SauconyÂ®, among others; and Collective Licensing International, the brand development, management and global licensing unit, with such youth lifestyle brands as AirwalkÂ®, Vision Street WearÂ®, SimsÂ®, LamarÂ® and LTDÂ®. Information about, and links for shopping on, each of the Collective Brand’s units can be found at www.collectivebrands.com.