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WYSP Receives Eau Claire Community Foundation, AnnMarie Foundation Grants

RELEASED: June 16, 2008

WYSP logoEAU CLAIRE — The Wisconsin Youth Sports Program, a free summer camp formerly known as the National Youth Sports Program that has served more than 10,000 area youth at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire campus during the past 27 years, has received grants from two area foundations.

Grants from the Eau Claire Community Foundation's John and Betsy Kell Family Fund and the AnnMarie Foundation will support this summer's WYSP program, which runs from June 10-July 11.

"We are thankful for these grants from the Eau Claire Community Foundation and the AnnMarie Foundation," said Vicki Funne Reed, UW-Eau Claire interim director of university recreation and sport facilities and WYSP project administrator. "This funding, along with the continued collaboration of our long-standing community partners, will allow us to provide very important opportunities for area youth again this year."

Federal funding for NYSP was eliminated beginning this year, but UW-Eau Claire decided to continue the program and rename it, said Lisa Schuetz, WYSP activity director. The program, which serves more than 400 children ages 10-16 for five weeks each summer and has an annual operating budget of just over $83,000, now relies on community partnerships and private funding for support, she said.

"We hope to be able to continue WYSP for years to come," Reed said. "For almost three decades this program has provided opportunities for area youth from families with limited financial resources to develop their leadership, academic and athletic skills and to have a quality, memorable summer camp experience. The large number of registrations we receive each year is evidence of a need for this program in the community, and we hope to receive the continued support needed to make it happen into the future."

The Eau Claire Community Foundation serves the region by offering donors opportunities to establish charitable legacies, making grants and serving as a catalyst to address community needs. The AnnMarie Foundation was formed in 1974 by the Phillips Plastics Corp. Its independent board of directors awards grants to local organizations to encourage educational, humanitarian, cultural, recreational and aesthetic activities.

In addition to the Eau Claire Community Foundation and the AnnMarie Foundation, WYSP continues long-standing community partnerships with the Eau Claire Area School District and its Building Bridges program and the Altoona School District. The school districts have helped underwrite WYSP's transportation costs. Other partners include the UW-Health/Family Medicine Clinic in Eau Claire, which provides free medical exams to participants, and the Chippewa Valley Technical College dental hygiene program, which offers a free dental screening and cleaning to campers.

Other sources of support for WYSP have included local charity events such as the upcoming RCU Charity Classic, the Shamrock Shuffle 5k run/walk in March and the Early Birdie Golf Outing in May.

For more information or to contribute support for WYSP, contact Reed at 715-836-4931 or reedvf@uwec.edu or Schuetz at 715-836-2400 or schuetlm@uwec.edu.

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JP

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