Community Knights strive to ensure GIFT grant awardees are innovating and growing their programs. Their primary goal in fundraising efforts and grant awards are based on community collaboration. The GIFT program has a few simple, yet strict, requirements: All grants must directly benefit the citizens of the Virginia Peninsula of Hampton Roads; all awardees must be 501(c)(3) non-profits, public school organizations, or non-profits that the Community Knights’ Board deems a benefit to the Community, which demonstrate the ideals of Community Knights and show fiscal responsibility with the use of the grant. The results from their grant funding to Phoebus High School Track Team have been astounding.
Phoebus High School Track Team is one of the original participants in Community Knights’ GIFT program. To date they have received $30,900 in grant funding over 4 years and 12 grants. These grants have provided the under funded team with needed uniforms and off-set the costs of additional meet entry fees and travel expenses for students like the trip Phoebus boys relay runners made when they earned the two top-10 finishes at Penn Relays this past May.
Because the team was able to compete in these extra events and had the uniforms needed to participate, the following things have happened for these students:
- Had the proper attire to train and compete at the highest level possible at the most competitive meets in the nation
- Several athletes finished the indoor season ranked in the top 20% in the nation
- The boys 4×200 relay finished the indoor season ranked #4 in the United States
- Exposure for the student athletes to be seen by college coaches at major track meets i.e. Penn Relays, VA Showcase, New Balance Nationals
- All members of the track team were able to compete at the VA Showcase which was held at Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA. The meet highlighted teams from 15 states and Jamaica
- Since 2013, 21 members of the track team have earned Division 1 Track and Field Scholarships
- Track Team graduates return every year to mentor current members of the track team
Coach Vernita Brown stated that, “Our partnership with Community Knights highlights our commitment to using every day to show our greatness!”.
Community Knights next round of grants will be issued this fall and they look forward to again supporting public school organizations and non-profits that are a benefit to our community.