It all started With Cam. . .
It rained that year at the CHaD HERO, hard. So hard that the inaugural Cam’s Course lost power and sound. But hundreds of families showed up to run for Cam, anyway. Cam was seriously ill, but he came too, and was carried through the finish line by his school principal to the sound of hundreds of his friends humming Chariots Of Fire. That moment revealed how an athletic effort can be a powerful gesture of hope, a compelling means of supporting a friend and the worthy organization helping him.
The inaugural Cam’s Course evidenced how one act can lead to large-scale community action. The fact is: people want to help people. Kids want to help kids.
Sometimes all it takes is identifying a physical action that stands as proof of human compassion. Cam’s Course, and community reaction to Cam’s Course, planted the seed for Positive Tracks and the GOmentum Positive Tracks builds inside the hearts of young people and their supporters.
The following year CHaD was awarded its first Positive Tracks Youth Challenge Grant that doubled dollars raised by CHaD Hero Half Marathon participants age 23 or under. Young people were given “fundraising wings”, so their efforts made significant impact on a community – and a cause - close to their hearts.
When CHaD Hero Half Marathon participants successfully met the $100,000 Positive Tracks Youth Fundraising Challenge in 2010, enthusiasm and support grew to include additional partners receiving Positive Tracks Challenge Grants and supporting tools and coordination. In 2011, The Dempsey Challenge, benefiting The Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing in Lewiston, ME, became the second founding Positive Tracks event partner. The Travis Roy Foundation Wiffle Ball Tournament in Jericho, VT, joined Positive Tracks as its third charitable event partner in 2012. In 2013, Positive Tracks entered five new partnerships with Grassroot Soccer, Lacrosse the Nations, Ride2Recovery, Turtle Ridge Foundation and Additive Adventure By Majka Burhardt. In 2014, we add Soccer Without Borders, Playworks, Mote Marine, Let’s Get Ready and Big City Mountaineers to the mix.
Today, Positive Tracks awards Youth Challenge Grants to 12 Charity Partners and also asks Charity Partners to amplify the Positive Tracks Youth Fundraising Match by encouraging new funding partners to join the Positive Tracks Next Gen Sweat For Good platform. Together, we’re building a Positive Tracks Funding Alliance with the intent mission to activate and incentivize youth sweat for good initiative across the nation. Not only does this amplify donor leverage and exponential impact, but it allows Positive Tracks to reach more kids, more charities, and more people and places served by benefiting charities.
So Generation Next can make the world awesome: starting with themselves, starting in their own backyards.