April 6, 2007
Golf event to raise money for youth sports programWEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Former Purdue football player Leroy Keyes and other former athletes are taking part in a celebrity golf event to raise funds for the university's National Youth Sports Program, which is no longer receiving federal funding.
The Leroy Keyes NYSP Scramble will take place on April 20 at the Kampen Course on the Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex. All proceeds benefit Purdue's award-winning youth sports camp for underprivileged children, ages 10-16. This year's camp is scheduled for June 13 through July 13.
"Through athletic competition, we try to teach our children the values and life skills that befit an adult American citizen," said William Harper, director of Purdue's program. "Sadly, some children in the United States never participate in this crucial part of American culture. NYSP gives children this chance ? to be part of team, feel like a winner, learn about healthy living and take an interest in a college education."
Last year Purdue's program was one of 56 in the nation to receive partial funding. All federal funding has since been withdrawn from the program that once sponsored more than 200 camps, said Harper, a professor and head of the Department of Health and Kinesiology. Harper said Purdue hopes to continue the program with increased community support. The Leroy Keyes NYSP Scramble is an example of new initiatives to replace the lost federal funding.
Tee time is at 1 p.m., but golfers can arrive at 11:30 a.m. for check-in, car and club service, warm up, and to meet each team's celebrity golfer. Player registration and hole sponsorship information is available online at http://www.cla.purdue.edu/nyspgolf/. John and Connie Basham, owners of Basham rentals of Lafayette, are personally sponsoring the golf event.
The fee is $150 a person, and companies choosing to enter a foursome for $600 also will have a sign with their name on it posted on the course. Companies also can sponsor holes without having a team.
In addition to Keyes, other athletes and coaches participating include Sue Bartz, Ryan Berning, Brent Botts, John Bullock, Bart Burrell, Bob DeMoss, Travis Dorsch, Bob Ford, Gene Keady, Frank Kendrick, Warren Moore, Mike Rose, Tim Stratton, Edwin Watson and Derrick Winston.
Purdue's youth program has served more than 1,000 children since it began in 2002. About 400 children, who are selected based on referrals from Tippecanoe County schools each summer, learn about sports, nutrition, computer skills, writing, dangers of substance abuse and career opportunities during the five-week program. The students, in teams of 15, rotate through activity stations that include basketball, tennis, softball, swimming, soccer and volleyball. The older campers also get to participate in additional special activities. The stations are intentionally spaced about 10 minutes from each other to make sure each student walks at least one hour a day. Previous campers have received new shoes and swimsuits, as well as other participation prizes such as bicycles, as rewards for attendance and sportsmanship.
Because the program receives much community support, giving back is a central theme for Purdue's program, Harper said. The campers participate in community outreach, such as helping the American Cancer Society set up its Relay for Life fundraiser, organizing items at Trinity Mission's thrift shop and visiting with veterans at the Indiana Veterans' Home.
Purdue also is studying how participation in the camp benefits children. Last year research results were reported showing that participation in the camp has a significant effect on the attitudes of children regarding education, self-perception and sportsmanship.
"We have seen how beneficial this program is for so many children, and we intend to keep the program at Purdue," Harper said. "This can only be done with community support, and we are truly grateful for the number of individuals and organizations who have supported Purdue's program and continue to do so."
The national program has honored Purdue's camp for its achievements, including being named best new program in 2002 and special recognition for its 2004 and 2005 programs.The Department of Health and Kinesiology is housed in Purdue's College of Liberal Arts.
Writer: Amy Patterson Neubert, (765) 494-9723, email@example.com
Source: William Harper, (765) 494-3178, firstname.lastname@example.org
Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; email@example.com
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