To help financially needy high school student-athletes cover their pay-to-play fees.

In Michigan, more and more high schools are charging kids a "participation fee" to join in extra-curricular activities. This is mainly focused on athletics, however, band, orchestra, drama and art programs have also been affected. While we understand the difficult position the school are put in to balance their budget with less funds and increasing costs and we commend those schools who haven't cut these programs all-together, we know that this fee reduces student participation.

Participation in athletics benefits kids in so many ways, it's hard to imagine where kids are going to learn skills like teamwork, discipline and respect (to name only a few) without sports. These skills are necessary, not only to be good athletes, but these are skills that make them better students, better adults and all-around better people. Our society and our communities are the biggest beneficiaries of our schools teaching and training better people.

In Michigan, according to an 2006 MHSAA survey, over 40% of responding high school are charging some sort of "pay-to-play" fee. Nearly 15% of those are charging it for the first time. This is a scary trend that has continued well after this survey was taken.

Fees range from $25 to $200 per kid per sport, with the average fee being about $50.

We have been able to give 12 - $100 grants to cover these fees during the 2008-2009 school year.

Our two annual fundraisers, Carpe Diem Golf Scramble and Raffle have provided us the ability to do this.

Your participation in these fundraisers or direct donations will increase the impact we can have on Michigan families.

With your help, each $100 we raise will help one financially-needy student-athlete play sports for free.

Let's join together and try to stop this downward trend and help some Michigan families in need.

1. We hope to make high school sports free for as many student-athletes as possible

2. There are fundamental and benificial things to learn from being a part of high school sports.