“My whole philosophy is that if I’m going to do something for the rest of my life, I’m going to do something that matters or that is for a cause.”
Julia Eger has always been interested in sports and nonprofit work. “I’ve just always had a heart for giving back,” she says. “My whole philosophy is that if I’m going to do something for the rest of my life, I’m going to do something that matters or that is for a cause.” The P.O.W.E.R. of Play Foundation, started by former NFL player and coach, Ricky Proehl, was the just the right combination of sports and philanthropy that Julia was looking for.
Located at Proehlific Park, the P.O.W.E.R. of Play Foundation gives scholarships to kids from low income families to attend sports camps after school or during the summer. Julia, now the executive director of the Foundation, explains that most kids from these families are left at home alone after school. “That leads to a lot of bigger problems, especially down the road,” she says. Sending kids to Proehlific Park through the Foundation helps solve this problem. “It kind of gets them out and active, but it also is a safe place where they can come and have mentors, because a lot of them don’t have that,” Julia says.
The Foundation has recently partnered with United Way to identify more families who could benefit from it. “By partnering together, you help reach more people,” Julia notes. “They have families who have never heard about us, and we’ve never heard about them,” she says, in reference to United Way. This partnership has indeed been successful. Approximately 250 students are attending summer camp at Proehlific Park this year, 66 of whom are on scholarships.
“We want to be able to reach as many families and children as we can,” Julia says, highlighting her ultimate goal at Proehlific. Since the Foundation is now collaborating with United Way, both organizations can work together to achieve this goal and empower hundreds of children along the way.