Todd Iverson stumbled across the the grant application through State Farm and sent in a statement about the merits of the Big Sports Gig, an annual fundraiser for PenMet Parks that provides scholarships for youth sports.
This year’s event was Saturday; all proceeds from the event benefited the Greater Gig Harbor Foundation's Recreational Scholarship Fund.
The event got more good news when Iverson found out last week his application made the cut to be a finalist for a State Farm Neighborhood Assist program grant.
The State Farm Neighborhood Assist program allots $1 million in $25,000 increments to 40 different causes nationwide. Winners are determined by Facebook “likes.”
State Farm selects 200 finalists out of a field of 4,000. The Big Sports Gig needs to be in the top 40 to win one of the grants.
The money would be used on scholarships for young athletes on the Gig Harbor and Key peninsulas.
Iverson caught the interest of local State Farm agent Kent Cashman. The two have been getting the word out to as many people as possible and encouraging them to vote on Facebook.
“It would be a huge boost; it would be great for this community,” Cashman said.
The scholarships are an investment in the communities future, Iverson said. While the peninsula area can seem affluent, about one-third of children aren’t able to play sports or attend camps due to financial restrictions.
The scholarships would cover the cost of registration for sports and summer camps. The average scholarship is $50 and the State Farm grant could provide for an estimated 500 scholarships, Iverson said.
“That is big. If our community can really get behind this, that’s awesome,” he said.
Voting is open until June 3. Facebook users get 10 votes per day and can use those for one cause or split them up across the group of applicants.
To vote, both Cashman and Iverson have set up direct links: Cashman at Facebook.com/gigharborinsurance and Iverson at BigSportsGig.org.
The direct links go to the Big Sports Gig’s applicant page where users can cast their 10 daily votes. Early this week, the cause was just outside the cut-off in the mid-40s.