Chances are most of you have never heard of the Northwest Pole Vault Youth Initiative. This is non-profit - separate from our club - that my wife and I have started to enhance the mission of my work.
I imagine you have all noticed that this event I’ve loved since I was a boy has been the most unfair event in track and field. One school has two uncoached kids with one pole to share and the other has an expert coach and two bags of poles. In short, affluent kids always win. For over 30 years I have welcomed kids into my vault camps who cannot afford to pay, but this new training center project has blown wide open the advantages of kids in my care. Even kids in other towns with off-season clubs can barely find space on the podiums any more.
More consequentially, NWPV Club athletes have a greater chance at college participation and scholarship money than any other sport could ever afford them. My dream has been to use my gifts and training center to extend this same opportunity to physically gifted athletes in our area who could never think of it financially.
When I first shared this dream with potential donors looking for great returns on charitable investments, they were stunned. I tell them straight up, if I choose an athlete that meets my criteria for talent and motivation, I can guarantee barring injury that they will not pay for college. Two donors helped me get started, and I now have four kids training with me on full or partial assistance draining our fund fast. It costs about $2000 to train an athlete for a year, considering some weeks of light attendance during the season. If ever an athlete qualifies for a national meet and can’t afford to attend, this fund can also be used to assist their travel. Always looking out for both exceptional talents and generous donors, the initiative is growing slowly. If this interests any of you we would be grateful to have you join this team as well. As an aside, the first $2500 we receive here will be matched by another donor.
I’m more mindful than ever what a privilege and blessing it is to be in this position. Such fun work, such inspiring young people, and such generous folks who entrust them to me.
Thank you all,
If you are interested in donating we will have a direct online page here or checks can be made to:
NWPV Youth Initiative and can be sent to:
7527 - 27th Avenue NE, Seattle, WA 98115.
NWPV Youth Initiative is a 501(c)(3) organization and your donation is tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.
Once we receive your donation, you will receive an acknowledgment letter for your personal records.