Thursday, July 2, 2009

Saving Youth Sports

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Five months ago I was laid off from my job as a Sales Engineer for a publicly traded software company. Although I was putting finishing touches on's youth sports management portal at the time, the process of prematurely entering into the world of entrepreneurship is always a frightening one.

Soon after the layoff, I evaluated my career path and discovered that, to this point, everything I've done from a career perspective has been to increase other companies' earnings per share. Even my greatest career contributions have done little more than earn more money for company shareholders.

That retrospection led to the adoption of the Community Pledge. Simply stated, we will contribute a portion of our sponsorship proceeds back to the community in the form of youth sports scholarships and grants that directly benefit economically disadvantaged children and youth sports leagues.

With the nation's jobless rate at a 26-year high, stories like Elkhart, Indiana's Rally to Save Youth Sports bear testimony to why we do what we do. The residents of towns like Elkhart look economic adversity square in the eye to ensure that children will continue to reap the rewards of youth sports involvement.

Unfortunately, not every organization has had the combination of luck and fortitude that Elkhart's youth baseball program has observed. Many continue to cut back, and it is times like these that we at hope to be able to make a difference.

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