If Pay to Play fees are preventing your kids from participating in sports, Lelito’s Legacy Foundation is here to help. Founder Tim Lelito grew up in a small community and felt the burden that his love for sports had on his family. However, sports were his lifeline in high school and kept him on the right track for graduation and college. Now, after playing for Grand Valley State University and three NFL teams, Tim is a passionate nonprofit leader who wants to help give kids access to the thing that helped keep him focused on doing well in school: sports.
Lelito’s Legacy Foundation had its first annual fundraiser, A Sporty Soiree, on November 7th at the Blue Water Convention Center. The evening was set up to feel like an indoor tailgating party complete with welcome music performed live by the drumline from St. Clair High School, the school Tim Lelito graduated from in 2007. Guests were treated to a relaxed and fun atmosphere and the opportunity to play indoor corn-hole along with several other fun games provided by a few of the event’s sponsors, Jersey Mikes Subs, The Mortgage Lady, and Women’s Life Insurance Chapter #810.
The highlight of the evening was the announcement of Lelito’s Legacy Foundation’s Pep Project Grant recipient for 2019. The Pep Project was funded by the Adult Field Day Lelito’s hosted in the spring which brought together 125 adults to play old school field day games to raise money for the Foundation. This year’s grant recipient was Memphis High School, and Memphis Community Schools Superintendent Brad Gudme was present to accept the $5,000 grant to update and repair the weight room at the high school.
“If I didn’t have sports to fall back on, I wouldn’t have graduated from high school. I don’t want to see sports taken away from kids [like me] who need that outlet. That’s why I do what I do.” said Tim. His motivation originated from his experience, and it’s constantly confirmed by studies that prove brain health is directly tied to overall physical health. Tim desires to see kids grow physically, mentally, and academically, and he believes sports play an integral role in achieving that end. “With all the bad stuff happening with our youth, I don’t want to see programs cut,” he said, and Lelito’s Legacy Foundation is here to make sure that doesn’t happen in our community.
Reporting for WGRT – Jessie Wiegand
Photo by Andrew Jowett