Soldotna High School junior Brenner Furlong has proven himself to be an amazing athlete as a running back for the SoHi Stars, being named the 2016 Gatorade Player of the Year for Alaska.
Now Furlong has proven himself to be an amazing member of the community as last week he presented a check in the amount of $1,000 to the board of directors for the Boys &Girls Clubs of the Kenai Peninsula.
For Furlong it’s more than winning and the cheers from the grandstand. In an interview with the Dispatch he said it’s about giving back so that every kid can learn the life skills of playing sports whether they can afford it or not.
“The thousand dollars was from Gatorade for a non-profit of my choice and I chose the Boys and Girls Clubs because I want to provide a chance for kids who can’t afford to play sports. I can’t stand to hear a kid say they can’t afford to play sports. I’m only 17 years old and I never ever want to hear that, because sports can help kids who come out of the worst environments,” Furlong said.
“Every person should have a chance to experience the thrill and glory of playing sports and achieving something outstanding. I was just a normal kid in elementary school coming through the Boys &Girls Club playing basketball, playing soccer and slowly was encouraged and worked my way up to becoming the Gatorade Player of Year. But community service is also a thrill and I’ve learned that too from the Boys &Girls Clubs as well as volunteering for the Wounded Heroes and other local programs. Sure it’s great to be named the Gatorade Player of the Year, but it’s great too to give back to the programs that helped me get here and pursue my involvement with sports.”
Tim Redder is the president of the board of directors for the Boys &Girls Clubs of the Kenai Peninsula and was proud to receive the check from Furlong.
“It’s humbling to have a youth such as Brenner give back to the young people of the Peninsula with his donation to the clubs. He’s somebody who came up through the club and experienced playing in sports and getting to where he is now and already earning the ability to give back still as a youth in the community. It’s really amazing and very humbling. When it comes to making an impact in the community it’s not about being a star, or Mr. Popular if you will it’s about the little things that you can do every day to make a positive impact and Brenner has proven that by being a model for all of us. A thousand dollars is a big deal to the Boys &Girls Clubs and we certainly appreciate it. There are other things that all of us can do in the community that may not be a thousand dollars but may be volunteering time or expertise, but if it’s a positive impact for our clubs or to another organization in the community than that’s the model and what we all need to be doing,” said Redder.
Congratulations to Brenner Furlong, Gatorade Player of the Year, a champion on and off the field.