Following a yr of sports activities cancellations because of security considerations stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, the proprietor of a neighborhood automobile dealership is giving again to make sure space youths have profitable seasons forward.
Brad Lewis, proprietor of Lewis Toyota of Topeka, advised The Topeka Capital-Journal on Tuesday the dealership is donating $25,000 to create a fund that would supply grants to space athletes who wish to play however could need assistance with things like tournament-entrance charges and buying gear.
“With the vaccinations and cities and states opening up, hopefully, this can be a full summer time of sports activities for the youth,” Lewis stated. “We wish to make it possible for we are able to attain as many children as doable and let these children take part.”
He stated Lewis Toyota is donating that $25,000 to the Higher Topeka Partnership, which can work with the dealership to disseminate the funds. The cash is anticipated to be dispersed as native youths, households or groups apply for it.
Lewis stated these trying to profit from the funds might want to apply in particular person at Lewis Toyota, 2951 S.W. Fairlawn Street, or on-line on the dealership’s web site. The appliance must be accessible no later than Friday.
Lewis stated he hopes to assist native youths with the whole lot from event and travel-related bills to purchasing a brand new pair of cleats.
“The final yr, these children have handled a whole lot of uncertainty, and I really feel like getting children out to take part, getting them out within the recent air, getting them out competing and constructing friendships with different group members shall be a superb expertise for them,” Lewis stated.
In the course of the software course of, he encourages youths to return into the dealership and ask for the cash themselves.
“That means I can sit down and discuss to them, feed them some straightforward questions relating to: ‘Hey, what are you going to do that summer time? What do you are feeling like your strengths are on this sport? What do you are feeling you may get higher at?'” Lewis stated.
And he hopes recipients of the funds will give him common updates about their efficiency and the way their groups are doing.
“They have to return in right here and discuss to me about this donation, as an alternative of me simply writing a examine and by no means listening to from them once more,” Lewis stated. “I will attempt to make it … a superb studying expertise for these children.”
In response to Lewis, there’s a committee made up of about 5 folks that can evaluation grant purposes. The committee consists of somebody from Lewis Toyota, a pair representatives from Topeka Unified College District 501, a neighborhood basketball coach and a consultant from GO Topeka.
Lewis stated they are going to proceed awarding funds till the $25,000 is gone. However he hopes different native companies will chip in to develop the pool, permitting them to succeed in as many youngsters as doable.
“We have got to present these children the chance to compete,” Lewis stated. “I do not need cash or gear or something to hinder these children’ skills to take part in sports activities this summer time.”