When Mitch Falk heard Alaska's most famed basketball player, Carlos Boozer, had donated 50 scholarships for economically disadvantaged youth to his Carlos Boozer Basketball Camp through United Way of Southeast Alaska, he called President Brenda Hewitt and said, "I want to make sure every kid that applies gets to go. This is so much better than kids getting on drugs."
Sixty-three kids applied for scholarships so Falk went to work and got Juneau business leaders to kick in the $150 fee to help economically disadvantaged children between the ages of 7 to 17 years attend.
Cameron Plumbing and Heating, Mendenhall Auto Honda Hut, Nugget Alaska Outfitters, Bullwinkle's, Les Schwab, Construction Machinery, Anchor Electric and Tyler Rental all contributed. Falk and his wife, Lynette, also contributed pizzas for the players to enjoy lunch on Friday.
The camp was held Aug. 3 to 7 and will be held again next year. Scholarships are needs based and because of the short timeline, will be given out on a first come first served as long as they meet the criteria. Children from outlying communities are also encouraged to apply but should make sure they have housing and transportation arrangements in Juneau for the duration of the camp.
"Boozer was so happy with the participation and community support that he has vowed to come back and 'bring a thousand kids from all across the state of Alaska to attend next year,'" Hewitt said.
For more information, contact Brenda Hewitt, United Way of Southeast Alaska president, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 463-5530.