No child turned away.
The Mission & Vision of Clearwater For Youth
The Clearwater For Youth mission is to help ensure “no child is turned away” due to financial concerns and to elevate youth sports in our community and beyond by offering support through scholarships and grants to constructive sports programs where children from all levels of society can play together and learn together. The CFY mission has never wavered nor has our philosophy of “building character through sports.”
Clearwater For Youth began in 1966 as a Football and Cheerleading program sponsored by the P.A.L. The Suncoast Kiwanis picked up the ball in 1967 and in 1972 CFY was incorporated as a not for profit, tax deductible 501 c3 organization…helping our community youth reach their fullest potential through enriching and productive activities. Over fifty years ago, local civic leaders had this vision of “building character through sports” and today CFY continues to help ensure “no child is turned away” or program jeopardized due to financial concerns.
The community has continued to support the CFY mission through events like the CFY Celebrity Banquet presented by Spectrum, the “About the Kids” Golf presented by DEX Imaging, The Capogna Dugout “Art Capogna” Golf Classic, the Phillies Spring Training at Spectrum Field, “Meet the Pro’s” at Marina Cantina presented by Clearwater Gas System, and the newest event, The Phil Doganiero 3 Bridge Race. The Philadelphia Phillies, Tampa Bay Rays, Toronto Blue Jays, Tampa Bay Bucs, Tampa Bay Lightning and many sports stars have all supported CFY .
From the inception Clearwater For Youth had two main goals…to build a recreational center for youth and to support youth organizations and participants wherever a need existed. Through the tireless effort of CFY founder Fred Fisher, the Harris E. “Zip” Long Center in Clearwater opened in July, 1990 and is filled with youth throughout the year.
Through a unique partnership with the City of Clearwater, CFY supports all city co-sponsored youth sports programs and many others which include over 8,000 youth. Boys and girls playing football, cheerleading, baseball, softball, basketball, soccer, lacrosse, track and field, swimming, volleyball, golf, surfing, sailing and more have all been helped through CFY support. Our mission is to reduce the financial burdens of these groups and their participants with scholarships, grants and matching fund challenges. CFY funds hundreds of participant registrations annually along with sports program grants for uniforms, equipment, field rental fees, building projects for field improvements and regional and national travel grants for teams and individuals in need. CFY also provides a college scholarship program and in 2017, awarded 17 deserving high school seniors $77,000 in college scholarships. Since 2006, CFY has awarded over $500,000 in college scholarships.
Richard O. Jacobson CFY Endowment
Where there is a need to be met CFY wants to be there to help. In 2008, Mr. Dick Jacobson, founder of the Richard O. Jacobson Foundation, provided a $700,000 gift to help CFY toward fulfilling our endowment mission. In September 2017, The Richard O. Jacobson Foundation provided an additional matching gift of $100,00 toward the endowment, opening up the ability to bring significant change and impact in the lives of hundreds if not thousands of children, insuring no child is turned away due to financial concerns. The endowment now allows 100% of our annual fund raising proceeds to directly support the needs of our youth. In recognition of Dick Jacobson, who was both a great friend and benefactor to the youth of our community leading CFY to greater heights and aspirations, the endowment has been named the Richard O. Jacobson Endowment in his honor. If you share in our passion of sports as a tool for teaching youth life lessons and our goal of supporting youth through sports, please help by supporting the Richard O. Jacobson Endowment and providing for the youth of today…our leaders of tomorrow.