The Empire State Sports Foundation has launched a public fundraising campaign with an appeal to all supporters, alumni, and athletes across the state to get involved and help bring back the games. In the coming year, the winter games are scheduled to take place in Lake Placid on Feb. 7-10, and the Empire State Summer Games will be re-launched July 24-28 in the Rochester area.
“The Empire State Games are the premier amateur sporting event in New York State, and a source of pride for all New Yorkers,” said Stephen Gionta, National Hockey League winger and Empire State Games alum. “These games were one of the best experiences of my hockey career. It was an experience that changed my life, and I hope that all alumni, and New York sports fans as a whole, come together to support the work of this foundation and help relight the torch.”
Under the new privately-funded model, the games will depend primarily on individual donations and corporate sponsorship to enable the work of the Empire State Sports Foundation, a registered 501(c)3 non-profit. With thousands of alumni across the state and around the country, the foundation hopes all the people whose lives have been touched by the games will join the effort.
The foundation has established several ways individuals and organizations can get involved and give to the games. The easiest way to give is through the “Fuel the Torch” appeal, which can be found on the game’s new website, www.empirestatesummergames.org.
In addition to “Fuel the Torch,” individuals able to make larger donations can become official “Friends of the Foundation.” And corporate sponsors can also get involved with various sponsorship levels.
“Work is progressing every day to bring back the games,” said foundation COO Scott Bell. “But to make these the biggest and best Empire State Games they can be, we need athletes, alumni, and all the people of New York to show their support and give from their heart.”
The Empire State Sports Foundation hopes the annual “Fuel the Torch” appeal and the “Friends of the Games” campaign will not only help the games grow, but also guarantee that the games will be a permanent fixture for decades to come.
“Our goal is more than just bringing back the summer games,” said Bell. “It’s our hope that we will be able to make certain that the games are better than ever, and around for the next generation of New Yorkers.”
To get involved in supporting the Empire State Games, visit www.empirestatesummergames.org, or contact the foundation by visiting www.essfoundation.org.