Recently junior Max Smith, a business major and a member of the Concordia men’s hockey team, has been nominated for a BNY Mellon Wealth Management Hockey Humanitarian Award for his work with the InSports Foundation. This is the second year in the row Smith has been nominated for the award, and he is very honored to be recognized again for the work he’s accomplished.
After taking an entrepreneurship class in Washington D.C., Smith decided to put some of the skills he learned into action. The result: the InSports Foundation, which is a foundation dedicated to give all kids an opportunity to play sports.
“The biggest thing for me is that I wanted to do something to help kids have a chance to play sports that may have financial obstacles prohibiting them to do so,” Smith said.
According to executive director of the program, Tony Scheuerman, the goal of the organization is to help kids learn the value of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, while taking part in a sport they enjoy. In order to make this happen, Scheuerman mentioned families have access to an array of support networks including financial support.
“We believe sports are a great way for kids to learn important life skills and live healthy lifestyles,” Scheuerman said. “All kids deserve to live a powerful and healthy life despite their challenges. We at InSports provide kids with financial assistance to help with things such as sports activities, attending sports camps and clinics and purchasing sports equipment.”
Since September of 2014, Scheuerman has been doing an array of work for the organization, including developing programming, expanding the foundation’s networks, working on fundraising for the foundation and building relationships with the community.
According to Smith, the InSports team organizes fundraising events, creates apparel the partnered teams and offers children the opportunity to attend camps dedicated to their favorite sports.
“There are many different opportunities the foundation offers, including setting up apparel fundraisers to help teams raise money, providing free camps for kids to learn more about the sport they love and providing scholarships for kids to go to other camps, pay for registration fees and to have equipment,” Smith said.
Senior Andrew Deters, an InSport’s Program Coordinator, enjoys being a part of the foundation and is grateful that he has has the opportunity to be a part of the foundation.
“I was exposed to the idea through Max, and we have grown the foundation to what it is today,” Deters said. “Being extremely fortunate as a kid, growing up with many sporting opportunities, is what led me to join Max in this cause.”
Deters is very happy for Smith and his success with the foundation and thinks he is very deserving of the BNY Mellon Wealth Management Hockey Humanitarian Award.
“Max’s work ethic and overall personality has made this foundation what it is and I am so thankful for the opportunity to work with this foundation,” Deters said. “Max is constantly throwing business ideas off me and my job is to help him map these ideas out and determine how they relate to each other.”
Smith feels like this nomination would not have been possible without the support from everyone who wants to help grow the InSports Foundation. He thinks that it would be beneficial to spread the growing awareness of the program by getting more Cobbers on board.
“There are many ways to help out including setting up custom apparel orders through us, and attending or volunteering at fundraising events,” Smith said. “We are planning a joint Dodgeball Tournament with Concordia Dance Marathon in March. We are also looking for teams or individuals to submit different ways they are helping kids in their community, this is called our Play-It-Forward campaign.”
Aside from helping children throughout the community, Scheuerman acknowledges that the program is beneficial for the staff members too.
“It has allowed me to realize my passion for helping less fortunate kids grow and develop through participation in sports,” Scheuerman said. “It gives me the opportunity to use my networking skills in reaching out to the community and my sports contacts.”
Smith finds out the results of the nomination at a Frozen Four Banquet in Boston on April 10. He talks about how appreciative he is to have such encouraging teammates.
“Everyone on my team has been very supportive and are always asking of ways to help out with the Foundation,” Smith said. “I couldn’t ask for a better group of guys to be a part of.”
Class of 2015. English Literature major with an Art minor. News Writer for the Concordian.