(Contest Nominee) FCA COLORADO Gives Young Athletes a Faith-Based Perspective for Grasping Success in Life

Citywide Banks Community OutreachFCA COLORADO is one of seven local charities nominated in Citywide Banks’ Charity Hand-Up Contest taking place from March 1-14, 2013. The Denver/Boulder community is invited to vote for a nominee and enter prize drawings. Citywide Banks will donate $7,500 to nominated charities based on voting results.

FCA Colorado - Citywide Banks Charity Hand-Up ContestMany of us have seen basketball legend Michael Jordan pitch Hanes products in TV commercials or drove by one of John Elway’s car dealerships. Consider this: what if those two highly influential athletes were spreading the word of God instead of promoting products? Imagine how many people they could impact?

That was the idea behind the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) when Don McClanen, an Oklahoma basketball coach, initially formed it back in 1954. McClanen saw all the top athletes selling products and earning big endorsement deals and thought that these influential sportsmen could be influencing people to attend church instead of buying a product.

“The coach thought: hey all these athletes are being used to promote products like soap and candy bars,” explained David Farmer, FCA Colorado’s area director for Arapahoe County “Why don’t we unite these athletes for the cause of Christ?”

McClanen, along with others, gathered top professionals and collegiate athletes and coaches in Estes Park, Colorado to begin the discussion of faith, sports and leadership. They realized that they all loved sports, but that they also loved the gospel and that they could use their platforms to inspire good Christian values in their teammates or players.

The founders of FCA recognized how influential athletes and coaches were, especially to young people. Hence, the vision of the FCA became: To see the world impacted for Jesus Christ through the influence of athletes and coaches. Now, FCA is in Colorado and growing internationally. According to Farmer, it’s the largest sports ministry in the world.

FCA Colorado activities are divided into four programs: Coaches Ministries, Community Ministries, Campus Ministries and Camp Ministries.

The first, and most important one, is the Coaches Ministry. As the Rev. Bill Graham once said, “A coach has the opportunity to impact more young people and their families in one season than the average person does in a lifetime.” Additionally, a recent statistic pointed out the two thirds of all athletes look up to a coach more than anyone in their life, said Farmer.

FCA Colorado works with their coaches to not only provide athletic advice but also personal growth and spiritual guidance to their athletes.

“We help train coaches to help mold athletes to become great husbands, great fathers, etc,” explained Farmer. “Too often, coaches focus solely on the team win. We help them see the larger perspective of excelling in sport with an understanding that there’s a greater purpose in life.”

FCA Colorado’s Community Ministries are where the organization focuses on engaging the community and business leaders to financially support their athletic programs and become involved in their boards, tournaments and fundraisers.

Campus Ministries focus on helping students form their own bible study groups (a.k.a. Huddles) at local elementary, high school, junior high and college campuses.

Camp Ministries are especially effective, said Farmer, because they get the children and coaches out of their environment and away from daily distractions. “We can impact them not only performance-wise in whatever sport they’re participating in but also spiritually.”

Farmer says that volunteers are the backbone of the organization and that they’re always looking for people to help on their committees, run bible study groups, help with the sports camps and help with their fundraisers and galas. Financial help can be made through their website or by participating in one of their golf tournaments or black tie events.

A $5,000 donation from Citywide Banks would cover the attendance for nearly 100 children in the Front Range to FCA Colorado’s restoration outreach camp in July.  It would also help fund several scholarships to the nonprofit’s summer golf camp.  For more information on ways to donate your time or money, please visit www.FCAcolorado.org.  

Vote to Give FCA Colorado a $5,000 Hand-Up
As a Colorado owned bank focused entirely on the Front Range, Citywide Banks shares a commitment to our local community with FCA Colorado. Through our Charity Hand-Up Charity Hand-Up Contest Contest, we are proud to spotlight the great work and ongoing needs of Denver/Boulder nonprofits. Based on the results of a 14-day vote on Facebook, the local community will determine how $7,500 is split among seven Colorado charities nominated by Citywide Banks employees. The charity receiving the most votes will receive $5,000 and the runner-up will receive $1,000. The remaining donation amounts will correspond to the voting results for each nominated charity. The voting public can also enter to win 1 of 10 prizes, including dinner for two at some of Denver’s top restaurants. Official prize drawing rules are available by clicking here. For more information about the contest please visit www.CitywideBanks.com/charity/.

How to Cast Your Vote – March 1 -14, 2013
The voting will take place at Facebook.com/citywidebanks. Users will need to make sure they are logged into their personal Facebook account. If a user doesn’t have an account, it only takes minutes to set up a new Facebook account and it’s free. The online voting form will only be accessible for Citywide Banks Facebook Fans. To become a Fan, simply click on the “Like” button on top of any of the pages on Citywide’s Facebook Fan Page at Facebook.com/citywidebanks. Then, click on the link for the ”Charity Contest” tab to access the online voting page. Each Facebook account will be permitted one vote during the 14-day voting period.

Spread the Word about Voting for FCA Colorado
Tell your coworkers, friends, and family in Colorado to cast their vote for your favorite nonprofit. Use the sharing buttons above this article, on the Facebook voting page, or throughout Citywide Banks’ social media pages to help spread the word.

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