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Letter from AFM - Helping Handby: John Gallup
Editor and Publisher
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Many of the high school teams we profile in AFM are prominent, successful programs that have great facilities and are very well-funded. They can afford top-of-the-line equipment, uniforms and the latest football innovations.
But there are also hundreds of other programs that struggle just to acquire basic equipment in order to compete. Many such schools are located in districts that have suffered from significant budget cuts in recent years and where dollars in the community are often scarce. For these programs, any help from the outside is deeply appreciated and sometimes necessary simply to field a team.
CytoSport, which is one of the largest sports nutrition companies in the US and the maker of Muscle Milk, recognized that many high school athletic departments could use a helping hand – and they were in a position to give back. So last year they announced the creation of the Muscle Milk Recovery Grant Program – pledging a total of $250,000 in grants to high school athletic departments to meet urgent needs. High schools were invited to submit grant requests that demonstrated a need and a financial hardship directly to Muscle Milk or post their stories on a special Facebook page devoted to the program.
Over 600 grant applications were received, many written by students. Quite a number included videos that documented deteriorating equipment and sub par facilities. “We have been amazed by the tremendous stories that have been told through the grant applications,” said CytoSport Chief Marketing Officer Nikki Brown. “Whether the recipient school needs updated uniforms, safe workout equipment or upgraded facilities, one of the major themes within every application is the sense of pride that will be instilled with each grant. We are so excited to be able to assist in the development of these student-athletes and provide a brighter future for these athletic programs across the country.”
CytoSport recently announced the 22 high schools that will share the grant money this year. Whether the funds are used for new strength and conditioning equipment for Jasper County High School in Monticello, Georgia or uniforms for the football team at Maplewood High School in Guys Mills, Pennsylvania or any of the other 20 worthwhile athletic department needs, the Muscle Milk Recovery Grant funds will provide a much-needed boost to athletic programs across the country.
“This is a huge blessing. You don’t know how much stress lifts when you come into a season not wondering if you have a budget,” said Brian Burks, head football coach at Compton High School in California, one recipient of grant funds. “This grant is going to provide basic football equipment for us – so now we can afford things that championship teams have.”
If your team has a desperate need for new or updated equipment or facilities and you’re also facing a financial hardship, you can apply for a 2013-14 Muscle Milk Recovery Grant beginning in June. Look for notifications in upcoming AFM e-newsletters or keep an eye on the program’s Facebook page for information about how to apply.
Thanks, Muscle Milk, for helping athletic programs survive in these difficult financial times. We hope other companies will follow your lead.
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