The Youth Sports Alliance organizes after-school programs for students in grades one through nine. The programs introduce children to sports and healthy activities and include some local Olympians as alumni such as speed skater Casey Dawson, luge athlete Ashley Farquharson and Nordic combined competitor Jared Shumate.
YSA serves more than 20 local schools in the Park City, South Summit and Wasatch County school districts. Executive Director Emily Fisher says the organization is on track to hire 2,000 students a year. Of these, 27% receive some sort of scholarship to help cover the costs of participation.
One of the biggest costs of the program is transportation, which includes picking up children from school and taking them to their activities.
“We are one of the only programs providing transportation in these early days of release,” Fisher said. “When we provide transportation our scholarship rate is around one in five students, when we don’t provide transportation it drops to one in 19 because working parents just can’t afford to leave their office at 12:30 p.m. and drive their kids to all these great programs we have.
To solve the transportation dilemma, YSA formed the Jim Gaddis Endowment, named after the longtime Park City philanthropist who helped launch the Youth Sports Alliance twenty years ago.
“He started the Park City ski team, he brokered the deal for the NAC to have the land where they are, he did a ton of work for the University of Utah,” Fisher said. “If I had to list all the things he did and started in the Park City area, we’d be here all day. He’s an incredible man and an inspiration to me personally.”
Fisher says the goal is to raise $2 million and use the interest on the money to cover annual transportation costs, which come to about $80,000 a year. YSA has already raised $1 million. To find out how to donate, go to ysaparkcity.org. Renai Bodley Miller, KPCW News.