membership across the
programs. The funding program, which is
called the “Sporting Chance Award”, is given each year to two the Sports, Inc.
members via a drawing held at one of the groups five trade shows.
Nancy Wilson, Sports, Inc. vice-president, and the person
who conceived the idea said, “We wanted to give something back to the
communities where our members do business.
All of our members are linked because of their common ownership in
Sports, Inc. Subsequently, they also are
linked to each others community and the success of the Sports, Inc. store in
each community. The Sporting Chance
gives all of Sports, Inc. an opportunity to give something back to a local
members community, and the industry as a whole.”
When it started, the award was one $30,000 given out
annually. Beginning in 2004, Sports,
Inc. started giving $40,000 in the form of two, $20,000 awards; one to an
outdoors store and one to one of its team stores.
The funds have been used for a variety of sports related
facilities, projects and programs through the years. A recap is:
YEAR Winning Store Project
IN Kosciusko County 4-H Shooting Sports
Funding for equipment and supplies and construction of a new shooting
facility and rifle range improvements.
1998 Team Sporting
community based project to develop athletics fields, basketball and tennis
courts and other facilities for area youth.
One of the soccer fields was named in memory of Dick Weinfurtner, the
former owner of Team Sporting Goods.
Red Wing, MN Red
Wing Youth Sports Program donation for equipment and funding financial aid for
2000 Eds Sporting
Joseph Bantam Football Donation. Funds were used to complete a football
facility for youth football including two new fields, fenced playground area,
new scoreboards, an equipment building, concessions stand and restroom.
2001 Cecil Cahill Mr. Cahill was a longtime Sports, Inc.
staffer who was diagnosed with Lou Gehrigs disease. The Sports, Inc. Board, Staff and Membership
gave him the Sporting Chance funds in 2001 to help offset his medical
expenses. Mr. Cahill passed away in
2002 Precision Gun
vests and paddles to start a youth kayak program; Van Dyne Sports Club to
develop youth shooting and hunter safety programs, and other local sports
2003 Buck and Bass
TN Facility construction at the Memphis
Agricenter, site of the Ducks Unlimited Great Outdoor Festival. The money was used to build a bird viewing
[First Year two grants are given]
2004 Gerrells and
breakaway rims and wall mats for local college and construction of a disc golf
Rube Adler Sporting Goods
Salon, OH Donations
to local sports teams and associations, including Cleveland Indians Charities,
which impacts 15,000 youngsters in the
shooting range in
sponsored a “Learn to Shoot Day”, and sponsored Hunters Education courses.
money to start foundation in
financial aid for local youth to participate in area sports activities.
through the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation.
2007 D&G Sports
with the county and state fish, wildlife and parks department.
city council voted to name the playground after the stores founder, Bill
Steadman. Steadmans also used the funds
to remodel the entrance to their local high school stadium and to support
Special Olympics in
Sportsman Supply Co.
shooting sports training programs for handguns, self-protection and a youth gun
they needed buy could not afford, and used the funds to fill as many of the
requests as they could.
Lafayette, LA TBD
The 2000 award winner, Dick Carlson of Carlsons
in Red Wing, MN said, “It is a great asset to belong to an organization like
Sports, Inc. that puts the interests of furthering sports in such high
regard. The Sporting Chance Award is a
direct benefit of this philosophy.”
One of the winners, Russell Taylor of Steadmans Sport
Sports, Inc. is a member-owned buying organization