Thursday afternoon was all about gratitude as Kroenke Sports Charities hosted its Signature Community Partner grantees for a luncheon to celebrate the partnership and initiatives that better the Denver community.
The grantees in attendance that receive annual funding from Kroenke Sports Charities were the Colorado Adaptive Sports Foundation, the Denver Police Foundation, the Denver Public Schools Athletics, the Gold Crown Foundation, Playworks Colorado, Special Olympics Colorado Unified Schools Program and Young Americans Center for Financial Education.
Thursday afternoon’s luncheon marked the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic struck back in March 2020, that an in-person event was able to take place. As a result, there was an abundance of smiles and overwhelming mutual appreciation from the grantees and members of the Kroenke Sports Charities and Community Relations department, including Deb Dowling, the Vice President of Community Relations of Kroenke Sports & Entertainment.
As grantees arrived at the lunch and caught up with representatives from each foundation, Dowling remarked on the importance of the first in-person reunion for the grantees and Kroenke Sports Charities since the pandemic as it served as an opportunity for not just mingling, but for meaningful connection into how these important local foundations can continue their respective tremendous work and intertwine with one another to continue their efforts into bettering the Denver community.
As the luncheon continued and grantees took their seats, each representative was presented by Dowling on behalf of Kroenke Sports Charities with a commemorative poster and an opportunity to share with the group what the additional funding has afforded their respective foundation to accomplish in the past year.
For the Colorado Adaptive Sports Foundation – which strives to bolster independence, improve self-confidence, elevate social interaction and heighten one's quality of life by providing financial and organizational support, so that people of all ages with physical disabilities have the opportunity to participate in organized sports programs and has been a partner with Kroenke Sports Charities since 1995 – they provided updates on their successful programs; Colorado Avalanche Sled Hockey, Rolling Nuggets, Colorado Rolling Mammoth and Rapids Power Soccer, which utilize their funding to reserve time slots on the ice, field and court.
They also celebrated the accomplishment this past April as the Avalanche Adult Sled Hockey team were crowned national champions. Dowling provided an update that Kroenke Sports Charities would be supplying the Rolling Nuggets with new uniforms for the upcoming season.
For the Denver Police Foundation, they shared the importance of utilizing their funding for their Back to School Backpack Distribution, which aims to bridge the gap between the community and the Denver Police Department by supporting those communities most in need. Their grant allowed them to provide nearly 10k students in low income, high crime areas of Denver with a backpack filled with school supplies.
For the Denver Public Schools (DPS) Athletics – which has shared a partnership with Kroenke Sports Charities since 1997 – their grant as allowed them to implement organized after-school activities in 33 schools, reaching 6,600 students with the opportunity to participate in 17 sports throughout the school year and summer.
Impressively, they also celebrated the accomplishment of Denver East High School hockey team’s historic run as they not just won the 5A Colorado State Championship, but also claimed the 2022 Chipotle-USA Hockey High School National Championship title and were proud to confirm that 18-of-23 players on that victorious roster started their hockey careers with an introduction via floorball – one of the programs offered by the grant for DPS – at school.
For the Gold Crown Foundation – which provides a variety of programs built on the principles of participation, sportsmanship, and community – they were proud to share how their news location of their Enrichment Program located in Edgewater provides free, after-school programs for youth ages 12-18 with a focus on interest-based learning and emphasis on teaching technology through exploration, creativity, and self-expression.
For Playworks Colorado, they were able to continue implementing their mission to help elementary school children stay active and build valuable social and emotional skills through play and build a culture of play that enables kids to feel a real sense of belonging.
For the Special Olympics Colorado Unified Schools Program, they’re able to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendships with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.
And for the Young Americans Center for Financial Education, funding from Kroenke Sports Charities enables their foundation to further its mission of developing the financial literacy of young people through real-life experiences and hands-on programs purposefully designed to enable them to prosper in our free enterprise system. Their Young AmeriTowne is a unique program that introduces young people between the ages of 10 to 12 to the free enterprise system through, experiential learning platform and instills crucial financial skills and workplace readiness aptitudes in 5th graders.
The funding from Kroenke Sports Charities supports the sports venue in Young AmeriTowne, which allows students to understand the importance of budgeting for entertainment.
While each respective foundation was recognized and celebrated for the immense and positive impacts, they each create towards their individual missions, they also all celebrated their joint efforts to better the Denver community and how they’re able to expand that reach with the support from Kroenke Sports Charities in its mission “to improve lives through the spirit and power of sports.”
For more information on Kroenke Sports Charities and how to get involved or donate, please click here.