Children learn how to ride a bike at the iCan Bike camp hosted by the Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan. Courtesy Gazelle Sports Foundation
A local business foundation focused on breaking down barriers to fitness has made a donation to four West Michigan nonprofits.
The Gazelle Sports Foundation said last month it has awarded a total of $17,500 in grants to four organizations: Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan; Grand Rapids Student Advancement Foundation; Heights of Hope; and Pathways, MI.
The grants, which range from $2,500 to $5,000, will help alleviate costs for fitness-related programs hosted by the organizations.
Chris Lampen-Crowell, Gazelle Sports co-owner and foundation board member, said Gazelle is committed to “improving the overall health of our communities by helping groups overcome the challenges that prevent them from being active.”
“These four incredible organizations are working every day toward that same goal, and we’re happy to support their efforts,” he said.
The foundation awarded its first grants in 2015 and has donated more than $32,000 total to West Michigan organizations. Grants are limited to geographic areas in Michigan where Gazelle Sports operates stores.
Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan
The local arm of the association supports opportunities for individuals with Down syndrome and their families. The organization will use its grant for an annual iCan Bike camp, which provides children with intellectual and developmental disabilities the opportunity to learn how to ride a bicycle.
Grand Rapids Student Advancement Foundation
The foundation, which aims to raise and steward funds and community resources to support Grand Rapids Public Schools students, promotes active lifestyles through its Gr8 Sports, Great Kids program. This initiative ensures access to sports programs for kids in kindergarten through eighth grade, regardless of their ability to pay for participation.
Heights of Hope
The Holland-based organization has a community health and fitness program called WHOA, which is designed to combat inactive summer months and help address childhood obesity.
The Total Trek Quest program provides strengths-based youth development programming to third, fourth and fifth grade boys. The organization offers a wide range of resources and expertise, all dedicated to enabling children, adults and families to achieve change in their lives and communities.