Denver Nuggets continue involvement in giveSPORTS Equipment Drive

3rd annual event set for Aug. 23 in Pepsi Center parking lot
by Aaron Lopez

From forward Kenneth Faried collecting bicycles and baseball bats to general manager Tim Connelly sorting lacrosse sticks, the Denver Nuggets have been closely involved in the annual giveSPORTS equipment drive.

That will be the case again Saturday when the 3rd annual charity event is held in the Pepsi Center parking lot. The event was inspired by former Altitude Sports & Entertainment intern Jessica Redfield Ghawi, who was killed in the Aurora theater shooting on July 20, 2012.

Before her death, Ghawi was in the process of collecting hockey equipment to donate to the families impacted by Colorado wildfires. The giveSPORTS event was expanded to include new and lightly used equipment from all sports.

“When we held the first giveSPORTS even event two years ago, it was to honor Jessica’s legacy,” said Deb Dowling, vice president for community relations and fan development for Kroenke Sports Enterprises. “It’s rewarding to see her vision and generosity continue to provide opportunities for thousands of children in Colorado.”

In the past two years, nearly 40,000 pieces of equipment and more than $20,000 in cash donations have been collected to benefit A Precious Child, a non-profit organization that works with more than 150 Denver-area community groups. The money is used to support the giveSPORTS scholarship program, which provides financial assistance for sports-related registration fees.

“It represents the core values of our teams by helping make sports accessible to all,” Dowling said.

The giveSPORTS drive is a joint effort of Kroenke Sports Charities, the Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, Colorado Mammoth and Altitude Sports & Entertainment.

Faried and Nuggets forward Quincy Miller took part in the inaugural event in 2012, while Connelly, forward J.J. Hickson and coach Brian Shaw attended last year. Point guard Ty Lawson also donated $2,000 in gift cards to A Precious Child in 2013.

This year, Kroenke Sports Charities will match all cash donations up to $5,000. The match was made possible by a donation from Teammates for Kids on behalf of the Avalanche.