Click here to read the fall 2015 edition of AKtive

Welcome to our first newsletter!

Our story goes back more than a decade.

In 2004, the founders of the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame (Brad Precosky, Chris Myers and myself ) wanted to do more than put plaques on a wall. We intended for Teach, Honor, Inspire to be a mission statement that promoted Alaska sports in a meaningful way.

Around the same time, Bonny Sosa and Sam Young were concerned about the growing obesity epidemic in Alaska and decided to develop a program that empowered Alaska’s youth to build the habit of daily physical activity.

In 2006, ASHOF teamed with Healthy Futures on the Healthy Heroes project, which provided Alaska’s youth with access to positive athletic role models. Years of collaborations followed. The organizations merged in 2011 when Healthy Futures became the signature program of the ASHOF.

Despite some tough times, we’ve managed to stay the course. Bonny was a beloved figure and respected leader; her death in 2009 was a crushing loss, but others- foremost Cindy Norquest – stepped in to fill the void. And while some funding sources dried up, others joined the cause.

As I write this, the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame is preparing to induct its tenth class of people, moments and events at a celebration next summer attended by all ten years of inductees. The Alaska Sports Blog has cranked out more than 2,500 stories on Alaskan athletes. The enshrinement gallery at the Anchorage airport is full, and we are discussing expansion.

Nearly 20,000 children from more than 200 schools now participate in the Healthy Futures Challenge every fall and spring. By comparison, only 1,342 youth and 36 schools completed the Spring 2011 Challenge!

Healthy Futures now supports more than 100 events that promote a healthy youth population. We are expanding programming to include middle schoolers and are studying the effectiveness of wearable device technology (the Sqord) on children’s exercise habits.

Volunteers working in coffee shops and using storage lockers once managed our organization. Now we have a talented and dedicated staff, an office, a warehouse and an army of volunteers and advocates across Alaska.

It’s been a great journey. The relationships built with so many amazing people and organizations fill the heart with gratitude. The days when someone tells us that we made a difference are rewarding.

We’ll dedicate these pages not only to updates from our desk, but to shining a light on the many who are providing vital help along the way. Thanks for reading!

-Harlow Robinson, Executive Director