Sportsgrants Foundation: One of the Smallest Nonprofits Scores one of the Biggest Fundraising Victories of 2011

Sep 21, 2011, 16:52 ET from Sportsgrants Foundation

$2.2 million to fund the college educations of the children who lost their fathers on August 6th.

HOOD RIVER, Ore., Sept. 21, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- One of the smallest nonprofits in the U.S. pulled off one of the biggest fundraising days in history Saturday when the two-person Sportsgrants Foundation conducted the Fight Gone Bad event with 17,000 participants, in 16 countries reaching out to 45,0000 donors raising  $2.2 million primarily to provide 66 college scholarships for the children of Special Operations military personnel killed in action.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110921/DC72966)

On Aug 6, the husband and wife team that operates the foundation, Scott and Greta Rose Zagarino, decided to add 31 more recipients to their grant when the news that 17 members of the elite Navy SEALs, five Naval Special Warfare personnel who support the SEALs, three Air Force Special Operations personnel and an Army helicopter crew of five were killed when their helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan.

"What choice did we have? Although it meant we had to raise tens of thousands more, these men have one primary objective, we call and they come. How could we then not come when they called?" said founder and Executive Director, Scott Zagarino.

Fight Gone Bad, in its sixth year, began when Zagarino lost a bet with his friend and CrossFit affiliate owner, Andy Petranek, a former Captain in the Marine Corp, about who could post the highest score in the grueling CrossFit workout. Petranek won, but the idea to substitute fundraising as a measure of scoring for points inspired Zagarino to stage the first event in 2006. With only six weeks preparation and hundreds of phone calls, 79 CrossFit affiliates signed on and raised $117,000.

Steve McCleary, former Airmen and current Executive Director of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, which will help administrate the scholarships, said, "The grant created by Sportsgrants through Fight Gone Bad 6 is unprecedented.  In our history we've received some pretty substantial grants from some fairly large organizations, but for one husband and wife team, working from home, to provide 66 scholarships in one grant for over a million dollars is almost beyond belief. They called us in January and said this is what they were going to do, and then they went out and did it."

Contact:
Greta Zagarino
541-490-1984
greta@sportsgrants.org

SOURCE Sportsgrants Foundation