On the outside, Rush for a Cause’s Family Sports Blitz might just sound like a fun way to spend a summer day, an event filled with football and volleyball scrimmages, a cheerleading clinic and plenty of food and games.
But it’s more than just a fun summer celebration: it’s a way to raise money for athletes with injuries.
The fundraiser is in its second year, and it’s going to be bigger than ever with the addition of a new sport—volleyball—and a cheerleading contest. The fundraiser will take place on Aug. 18 at Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School.
Rush for a Cause was created in 2010 by Brecksville-Broadview Heights graduate Matt Galland. Galland, a running back, wanted to use his role to help athletes with injuries and their families. He started the nonprofit by getting people to donate money for every yard he rushed. That summer, the organization hosted its first Family Football Blitz to raise additional money for the cause.
But Galland, who is now attending the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado, wasn't content to stop the fundraising when he graduated.
“We’re working,” he said. “We’re growing.”
Galland’s mother, Debbie Galland, has taken over much of the day-to-day work at the nonprofit since Galland has gone off to the academy. She said this year’s Family Sports Blitz—the name change shows how it’s grown—has a “tremendous amount of support,” including the title sponsors Cleveland Clinic Sports Health and Romeo’s Pizza.
New activities this year include volleyball competitions and a cheer competition. There is also an NFL Punt, Pass and Kick competition that is open to anyone. Registration is available online, or people can register that day. Registration is also open now for the football and volleyball scrimmages, as well as the cheer clinic.
Rush for a Cause is still looking for volunteers for the Family Sports Blitz; Debbie Galland said they need 200 to 300 for the day.
The event is free, but donations are welcome. All proceeds go toward Rush for a Cause. The organization donates the money it collects directly to families of athletes with injuries. Debbie Galland said they rely on volunteers, and funding for events like the Family Sports Blitz comes primarily from donations.
To learn more about how to get involved—either by volunteering, competing, sponsoring or just attending—check out the Family Sports Blitz website.