The Equal Footing Foundation is a non-profit that strives to help underprivileged children lead more active and healthy lives, empower youth, and remove barriers while fostering team play and community engagement. When the EFF heard about Arroyo Paseo not having any kind of funding for sports, we knew we had to do something to help.
Equal Footing Foundation and FortuneBuilders hosted the Rooftop Rally, a carnival-themed fundraiser on Saturday July 27th. Dozens of volunteers, businesses and service providers helped put together an amazing evening of games, entertainment, prizes and silent auctions atop the Marriott Marquis overlooking the San Diego marina downtown. Local radio DJ’s and MC’s, Smooth 98.1, a local dance crew, the Junkyard Crew, and celebrity dancer, Legacy all donated their time and skills to the evening, culminating in raising over $20,000 for Equal Footing Foundation’s children’s health and athletic programs. All proceeds will be used to help struggling schools, teams and individuals keep sports and health in their lives. The evening’s honored guest was Arroyo Paseo High School, who will receive funds crucial for the school’s sports program.
The idea first came about when we received hand-written letters from students asking us to please help them start a sports program for their school. They “didn’t want to borrow sports equipment from other schools anymore.” Before EFF got involved, the high school didn’t have any sports programs, and they were losing attendance from girls because there were no activities for them. The principal of the school, Brian Thurman, told us that some of the boys were actually boxing for fun in the park across the street after school. He said he just wanted to do something for them, so he went out and bought them gloves and paid for an instructor with his own money so they would at least have some direction.
I asked the principal of the school about funding for these programs and he said, “I tried my best to budget money each year for my students for sports, but my efforts were futile. I met with all kinds of schools and companies to get help, and for years it was ‘no.’ I didn’t know what to do anymore, I thought to myself, “they’re going to grow up with the mentality that this is the way it is, we are in a poor community,” and I just felt defeated.” We then talked about how important it is for children to have mentors and role models, and how sports serve that purpose, and he said, “When the Equal Footing Foundation reached out to us, we were so grateful. FortuneBuilders is a group of giving people. Everyone was so excited to give back, and that made us feel good.” His happiness exuded over the phone as he said, “We greatly appreciate everyone’s efforts. Our students will be so happy when we tell them that the Equal Footing Foundation heard their voice.”
Thanks to all who attended, donated, and helped support the cause and made this dream a reality! We will be able to change many children’s lives by providing a second family for them, a team.