Novato has been blessed with recent rains, and NovatoSpirit’s children have been showered with the outstanding generosity of this community. Please accept our ecstatic gratitude! Your gifts literally change lives for the better, as you will read.
Our February Fundraising Contest was a success, with kids and families raising a record $1,415 for us. Half of that was raised by just one girl. Thirteen-year-old Claire Weber of Novato raised $715 all by herself. Claire’s wish was to raise enough money to give another girl the chance to dance. She succeeded with flying colors, and this week we awarded a dance scholarship to a deserving 13-year-old girl.
It’s heartwarming to watch how youth, like Claire, and their families have adopted NovatoSpirit’s mission as their own. NovatoSpirit, a 501c3 public charity, aims to improve the physical and mental health of impoverished Novato youth through athletic scholarships to high-quality fitness programs, like dance, karate, tae kwon do, soccer, and basketball. Last year we served 52 youth with athletic scholarships, and this year we hope to serve more. Our scholarships enable each child to be physically active for 5 years.
NovatoSpirit’s 5-year athletic scholarships give youth the opportunity to learn the basics of getting fit, and equally important, of staying fit. All our youth report that they’ve gotten leaner, stronger, and more informed about how to take care of their bodies. Most youth report feeling more confident and optimistic. They say their mental concentration has improved, boosting their academic abilities in school. And, happily, a few are delighted to feel a decrease in the troublesome effects of their chronic ailments.
Diego is one of those happy few. He’s a tae kwon do student who has asthma. This is what he recently wrote: “I am asthmatic so exercising is good for my respiration and lungs. Muscular endurance and flexibility is tested in class by our warm ups which are curl ups, push ups, jumping jacks, and practicing doing the splits. Every day at practice we do morning runs, which is good for cardiovascular endurance and strength. I appreciate everything my teacher Master O has done for me and the scholarship NovatoSpirit has provided me. I hope I can continue growing my confidence and my asthmatic condition won’t be a problem anymore. Then hopefully I can have no limits to any activity I do. Maybe one day I won’t have asthma anymore.”
One of our male dance students with special needs wrote: “I was overweight but I working on it and I try to have healthy diet and be more active. Dance helps me be active, because I love to Dance. Now I can do some moves I couldn’t do before. Now I don’t shy to dance. I like to go every week. I feel comfortable when I dancing. I think NovatoSpirit change my body, change my thoughts about Dance. Dance is awesome. Dance is a great opportunity to have great health.”
Thank you for boosting the health and happiness of these boys and other NovatoSpirit youth. NovatoSpirit would also like to thank these recent donors: Marin Charitable, Weber Consulting LLC, and Ghirardo CPA, whose staff have provided much appreciated in-kind services.
Finally, the NovatoSpirit Board expresses our gratitude for the gift provided to young Claire Weber for winning our February Fundraising Contest. Martha and Rob Domont, owners of Novato’s Rolling Hills Club, have offered a 3-month Family Fitness Membership at their lovely facility.
For more information about NovatoSpirit, please visit NovatoSpirit.org.