The following announcement was provided by the Watertown Community Foundation:
With the announcement of The Watertown Community Foundation’s (WCF) Youth Sports League Grant Program, WCF aims to serve Watertown youth from pre-k through high school, their families, and the volunteer coaches who run the leagues. Many children cannot participate in organized sports due to the cost and many coaches assume the added burden of paying players’ fees themselves. The goal is to allow greater participation in team sports of all kinds for all youth regardless of their ability to pay.
“WCF is committed to helping every Watertown child that is interested have the experience of playing a team sport” said WCF board member Bob Airasian, the driving force behind the program. “The Youth Sports League Grant Program will provide financial support to youth sports leagues to reduce costs as barriers to participation. We couldn’t have done this on our own and are incredibly thankful for the support from The Bilezikian Family Foundation and NESN.”
“Youth sports leagues teach children athletic and social skills, foster community among families, and attract and retain families in Watertown. The cost of entry and associated fees present a substantial barrier for many families and is the number one challenge for each league. WCF’s grant program will provide financial assistance to those who need it and ensure that children who wish to participate are able to do so,” added WCF co-president David Siegel.
WCF conducted a survey of the town sports leagues to understand their challenges and discovered there are no services in the community that defray registration and fees for youth sports. In order to distribute funds where most needed, WCF will work closely with Watertown youth sports league leaders, Watertown Boys and Girls Club, Watertown Public Schools, St. Stephen’s School, and other organizations involved in the students’ lives and who know their needs
“We’re thankful to WCF for helping more kids get on the field and play ball!”, said Doug Orifice, board member of Watertown Youth Baseball and Softball. “After such a challenging year, we look forward to having some fun!”
The Watertown Community Foundation, a public, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, works to build and sustain a vibrant, close-knit community in Watertown – now, and for future generations. To accomplish this, WCF raises funds from individuals, families, businesses, and foundations; awards grants to nonprofits and community projects; and builds networks of donors, grantees, program participants, and stakeholders.
WCF Board of Directors
David Siegel and Darshna Varia, Co-Presidents; Robert Airasian; Albrik Avanessian; Emily Barclay; Jennifer Davis; Eleanor Donato; William B. Ford; Heather Leary; Mary Ann Mulligan; Antonia O’Hara; Anthony Paolillo; Maria Panaggio-Phillips; Christine Parker; Lora Sabin; Robert Shay; Curtis Teixeira; Elaina Themistos; Lauren Coughlin Unsworth; and Kathryn White.