June 25, 2015

What do you get when you put 307 elementary school aged youth with more than 100 adult volunteers – including 25 college football players, four college coaches and one school mascot – to try their hand at football, baseball, soccer, an obstacle course and a host of other activities?

For those participating in the Future for KIDS (FFK) Sports camp held at Arizona State University’s (ASU) football practice field in Tempe, Ariz. May 30, the answer was a day of fun and inspiration for all involved.

Now in its sixth year, the camp drew at-risk youngsters from around the Phoenix region to participate in an event designed to both inspire and motivate. The camp was made possible in part through the DPR Foundation’s annual grant of $60,000. A half dozen Phoenix DPR volunteers turned out to help run the event as well.

The camp kicked off with Zumba and stretch-and-flex to music provided by a local radio station, accompanied by members of the ASU college football team. After the warmup, they gathered to hear an inspirational message from ASU football coach Todd Graham who spoke about character and responsibility.

“The kids all seemed really excited to hear from Coach Graham,” said DPR’s David Mazzarelli, who took the lead as one of the DPR volunteers the day of the camp. “He got them excited about the day and about our responsibility to give respect to others, and what that means to help build character.”

Photo credit: David Mazzarelli

Once divided into smaller groups, the youngsters rotated through 12 stations spanning everything from baseball, basketball and soccer to a water challenge, obstacle course, a fitness station and more. DPR volunteers ran the baseball station. “It was fun to see the parents who tagged along cheering their kids on as they ran the bases,” Mazzarelli said. “They all had a blast.”

Throughout the day, members of the ASU cheerleading squad and the ASU Sun Devil mascot intermingled with the children as they rotated through the events.

FFK Director Madonna Bistany was enthusiastic about the result of this year’s efforts. “Future for KIDS 2015 Youth Sports and Fitness Camp was a HUGE success,” she commented. “DPR’s volunteers sprinkled cheer throughout camp, ensuring the kids had a great experience!”