by Kelly Klemmer
Lelito’s Legacy Foundation is a registered 501c3 that aids student-athletes by eliminating financial barriers and creating healthy opportunities for deserving youth. Created by former NFL player and St. Clair High School Graduate, Tim Lelito.
Tim’s first experience giving back to the youth in his community started by hosting a free football fundamentals camp for middle and high school students. He brought in coaches from high school, college, and professional levels to teach kids safe and proper techniques on the field; and the importance of creating healthy habits on and off the field. After a few years of hosting the camp, Tim knew there was something more he could do for the young athletes. Reflecting on the struggles in his own adolescent athletic days, he understood firsthand that the cost of sports was always something his family struggled to keep up with; and the motive for the foundation was born. Since 2016, Lelito’s Legacy Foundation has grown from a single football camp into an array of program and grant offerings that support student-athletes; by covering pay-to-play fees, updating athletic facilities, and empowering a healthy athletic culture.
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The foundation is supported by community sponsors, donors, and volunteers that help host fun and interactive fundraising events – though the pandemic has forced the organization to think out of the box when it comes to corralling the fans. Some of their signature fundraising events like the Crawfish Boil and Adult Field Day have been postponed, and programs like Legacy Camp have been put on hold. In spite of that, the Lelito’s Legacy Foundation is practicing patience, perseverance, and resiliency just like the student-athletes they serve and are continuing to move forward with a new opponent to face. The pandemic halted school sports on a physical and financial level and the foundation anticipates that the already high price of athletic participation will only rise when school returns and teams reunite. For many students’ sports is a way to stay academically accountable, healthy, and social. No child should be priced out of these opportunities. Lelito’s Legacy Foundation will continue supporting the athletes and schools in need by finding new ways to raise funds.
Their newest fundraising event, Pedal to the Medal Road Rally, can be done while following all social distancing rules and will bring together teams to solve riddles, complete tasks, and find locations for a chance at winning prizes. All funds will support Lelito’s Legacy Foundation and the student-athletes they serve. More information can be found at LelitosLegacyFoundation.org or like their Facebook page.