Introducing the Hurricane Champions Foundation

A new non-profit is in town. Manatee alum Daniel Carter talks about his foundation that supports Hurricane athletics.

Introducing the Hurricane Champions Foundation

Jocelyn Leal, Editor-in-Chief

It is great to be a Hurricane- a statement that is supported and carried on by our great alumni association, and a specific member decided to give back. Daniel Carter is a man who bleeds red, white and blue, a sentiment that pushed him to start the Hurricane Champions Foundation, a membership club whose goal is to raise money for our sports teams

Modeled after Clemson’s IPTAY (“I pay thousand a year”) program, which is one of collegiate sport’s most successful fundraising organizations, Carter’s Hurricane Champions Foundation is a membership club that is $10 a month that he started with Bowen Summer and Mayor Gene Brown. This money goes straight back into the athletic department, matching the amount that any athletics team fundraises for. For example, the baseball team needed $6,000 to pay for new equipment, so after fundraising, the Champions Foundation matched them 50% for $3,000.

But the Foundation is not just for baseball or men’s sports in general, Carter assured that the money is for all athletics teams. Anything that is a sanctioned state sport, they are willing to help with, all depending on how much work the team is going to put in to fundraising and raising the initial amount that the foundation can match.

And the great aspect of the Champions Foundation is that it is not a typical booster club. Where a booster club is comprised of businesses in the community that put money toward the program, this foundation is interested in reaching out to individual members of the community, a smart tactic since the alumni community so tight.

“We are targeting individuals, we target individuals at $10 a month, knowing that just that small little donation can make a big difference,” said Carter.

2021 was the year that this project really got rolling, starting in April with the finalization of the paperwork that made it a genuine non-profit, but it’s first big event was the golf tournament they held in October 2021, which had massive participation and ended up raising over $25,000, and this year they want to do more. Another golf tournament is in the works for early October (so keep an eye out) and they plan to advertise at football games and other sporting events in order to get over 1,000 members in the community. These advertising plans are going to help fund substantial projects as well.

“We’ve talked with the administration about looking at things like say an expanded weight room and other expansion plans,” said Carter.

And there are not just plans for a weight room, but in the future-hopefully with the success of the program-Carter wants to start funding scholarships for athletes.

“Ultimately were not in the scholarship portion of it, but there’s not to say that we wouldn’t as a board of directors make a decision to reach out to John Vita and the alumni association and say ‘Hey we’re going to give you 15,000-20,000 to disperse among athletics. With $20,000 you can give 20 different people $1,000 scholarships you know,” said Carter about his interest in doing that in the future.

Overall, the Hurricane Champions Foundation is a perfect example of our great alumni base, giving back to the school that gave them so much. Hopefully the foundation will continue its work supporting Hurricane athletics and improving facilities.