Genesis Foundation for Fitness and Tennis (GFFT) raised funds to sponsor underserved children at the annual Rat Pack Gala & Casino Night. The proceeds raised will help children in need live a better life, by providing them with new shoes, quality sleeping essentials, and athletic grants.
December 1, 2021 – Rodney Steven II, Owner and President of Genesis Health Clubs and Chairman of the Board for GFFT was pleased by this year’s Gala and turnout of 280 attendees, stating how grateful he was to be a part of a team that gives back to the community.
“Yearly, we donate thousands of brand-new shoes and hundreds of new beds to kids who need them, along with sports scholarships,” Steven said. “The events we put on help raise money so that every child has an equal chance at fitness and sleep. It’s been a tough couple years for all kids, just trying to learn and play, so if we can make it just a little easier for these kids, it’s all worth it.”
Steven continued, “It is truly an honor to be a part of this program and change kids’ lives. I am so excited for 2022! We believe it will be our biggest year yet helping more kids than ever before.”
A special thanks by all involved was given to DeAnn White, GFFT Executive Director, for putting on this year’s Gala, a record-breaking event. On December 4th, 2021, at the USTA Missouri Valley’s Annual Conference, DeAnn will be honored with this year’s Outstanding Diversity Achievement Award. Through GFFT’s mission to improve the quality of life through physical activity, DeAnn has tirelessly worked to introduce the game of tennis to our community’s diverse and underserved children. Nick Schulte, USTA Kansas Board Member, praised DeAnne on her well-deserved award.
“To write everything that DeAnn means to and is doing for the Wichita community would be an endless task because she is constantly finding ways to do and offer more,” said Schulte. “USTA Kansas feels fortunate to have such a gift of a person as DeAnn is to our district.”
DeAnn is hopeful for next year, after seeing the Gala and Casino Night’s success that even more can be done for local schools and families in need.
“It is very rewarding and heartwarming to see the small things we do impact so many people,” DeAnn said. “We look forward to seeing more events for change, more opportunity for all in 2022.”
About GFFT: The organization was founded in 2006 by Rodney Steven II, the owner of Genesis Health Clubs in Wichita, Kansas. Since its inception, GFFT has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants to area youth and organizations. These grants can be used to pay for equipment, entry fees, club fees, and travel expenses. GFFT’s mission is to provide underprivileged youth with education and recreation opportunities that lead the way for a life-long commitment to physical fitness, thus improving health and wellness.
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