Local Woman Honors Husband’s Commitment to Helping Kids Engage in Positive Recreation Activities
OH – A local woman is honoring her husband’s legacy and commitment to
making recreation opportunities available to all kids this May with the Brian
S. Casey Family Memorial Fund. The
fund will match donations made to the PLAY Scholarship fund this spring.
Sharon Casey’s husband, Brian, understood the importance of
providing recreation opportunities for all kids.
“Brian saw how participating in organized sports and programs
helped our kids thrive and grow,” Sharon said. “He knew that there are a lot of
kids who don’t have the opportunity to participate in those activities simply
because they aren’t able to cover the cost to participate, and he was
determined to do something about it.”
Brian’s passion led him to become a supporter of Columbus
Recreation and Parks Department’s PLAY Scholarship Fund. The fund was
established in 1993 to eliminate the financial barriers to participating in
fee-based programs by covering some or all of the costs.
Research shows financial barriers keep kids from
participating in recreational activities. According to State of Play
Central Ohio, a new report by the Sports & Society Program
at the Aspen Institute, 20 percent of youth in central Ohio don’t play sports
more often due to financial costs associated with participation. This affects
Black youth (28 percent) more than White youth (18 percent).
Tragically, Brian and his 19-year-old daughter, Megan, lost their
lives in a plane crash in 2016. Sharon and her children, Matt and Molly,
established the Brian S. Casey Family Memorial Fund to continue Brian’s commitment to the PLAY Scholarship Fund. The fund
will match all donations up to $10,000 made May 7-9, the weekend of the annual
Champions for PLAY Golf Outing, the signature fundraiser for the fund.
Donations can be made online: bit.ly/CaseyMatchingFund
“Brian was an active member of the golf outing planning committee
for years, so continuing his legacy during this weekend means so much to me,
Matt and Molly,” Casey said. “We’re grateful for the community’s help in
remembering Brian and Megan and helping all kids have access to the wonderful
and important programs offered by Columbus Recreation and Parks.”
Columbus Recreation and Parks Department Interim Director Paul
Rakosky said the Casey’s support for the PLAY Scholarship Fund comes at a
critical time for our community.
“Now more than ever, it’s critical that kids have a positive way
to spend their time so they can avoid negative influences,” Rakosky said.
“Thanks to the generosity of the Casey family, individuals who donate through
the matching fund and the sponsors of the Champions for PLAY Golf Outing, we’ll
be able to make recreation opportunities available for more youth here in
Columbus this year.”
About the PLAY Scholarship Fund: PLAY scholarships make it possible for youth to connect with
nature, wellness and creativity year-round through programs and camps in areas
such as: aquatics; boxing; cheer and gymnastics; dance, music and theater;
cooking; drawing, painting and other creative arts; foreign languages; and
sports leagues and skills & drills. Each year, approximately 3,000 kids
receive a PLAY scholarship. Since its inception in 1993, the PLAY Scholarship
Fund has awarded $1.3 million in scholarships. The PLAY Scholarship Fund is supported solely through donations from local
and national foundations, local businesses and individual donors. Learn
more and see how the fund has benefitted residents: columbus.gov/recreationandparks/programs/PLAY-Scholarship-Fund/
Champions for PLAY Golf Outing: The annual Champions for PLAY Golf
Outing is the signature fundraiser for the PLAY Scholarship Fund. This year’s
event will take place Friday, May 7 at Champions Golf Course. All proceeds from
the event support the scholarship fund. The event is fully funded by sponsors;
this year’s event is sponsored by Gold Sponsors HR Gray/Anser, Kokosing
Construction and Midstates Recreation. The 2021
outing, which will follow COVID-19 safety protocols, marks the 25th
year for the event. Learn more: ChampionsforPLAY.org.