It was a record day at the sixth annual giveSPORTS Equipment Drive, presented by KeyBank.
Kroenke Sports Charities and A Precious Child collected 26,137 pieces of equipment on Saturday morning, the most in the event's history. In addition, $11,200 were donated, and Brannan Sand and Gravel offered a $5,000 challenge to bring the final monetary donation to $16,200.
All the items and money collected will go to A Precious Child's giveSPORTS program, which provides sports equipment and scholarships to kids in need.
Some of the sports items collected included gear for hockey, baseball, softball, basketball, biking, boxing, golf, football, lacrosse, roller hockey, roller skating/blading, soccer, tennis and volleyball.
This year's event at Pepsi Center included Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog and alumni Rick Berry and John-Michael Liles. They helped gather equipment in the Rav4 Parking Lot at Pepsi Center along with the Avalanche Ice Girls, mascot Bernie and other members from the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Mammoth and Colorado Rapids.
A Precious Child's giveSPORTS program was started by 12-year-old Dustin Martin in 2011. Knowing the powerful impact sports had on his own life, Martin sought to ensure all children, regardless of circumstance, had the opportunity to play sports.
The program's first drive came about from the idea that Jessica (Redfield) Ghawi, an aspiring sports journalist that had interned for Altitude Sports & Entertainment, had in 2012 of providing children who were victims of that summer's Colorado wildfires with equipment that they had lost. Jessica was never able to take part in the inaugural drive as she lost her life in the Aurora Theater tragedy.
Together, Kroenke Sports Charities and A Precious Child have combined efforts to fulfill both Jessica and Dustin's dreams in a community wide equipment drive to help put a kid in the game. Since its inception, the giveSPORTS Equipment Drive has collected over 126,000 pieces of sports equipment and more than $66,000 in sports scholarships to benefit more than 12,000 local kids in need and counting.
A Precious Child will continue to accept items. More information can be found at APreciousChild.org.