Generosity on display during sports equipment drive

giveSPORTS event nets more than 25,000 pieces of equipment, $11,000 in donations and $30,000 in scholarship funds
by Aaron Lopez

Carrying out the vision of the late Jessica Redfield Ghawi, more than 25,000 pieces of sports equipment, $11,000 in cash donations and $30,000 in scholarship funds were collected Saturday during the giveSPORTS equipment drive at Pepsi Center.

The event was inspired by Ghawi, a former Altitude Sports & Entertainment intern and aspiring sports reporter. She was among the victims of the Aurora theater tragedy on July 20.

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


The equipment and $11,000 in cash donations collected Saturday will be distributed to families in the Denver metro area served the non-nonprofit organization A Precious Child.

The other $30,000 raised will benefit the Jessica Ghawi Scholarship Fund.

In addition, Metro State University President Dr. Stephen Jordan presented Ghawi’s mother, Sandy Phillips, with an Honorary Degree from MSUD. The degree was approved by the school’s Board of Directors on Thursday.

"We are overwhelmed by the generosity of our fans today," said Deb Dowling, vice president of community relations and fan development for Kroenke Sports Enterprises. "With their support, many 'precious children' will have an opportunity to play sports. This is a wonderful tribute to Jessica's spirit."

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

Among those in attendance during the equipment drive were Nuggets players Kenneth Faried, Evan Fournier, Quincy Miller, Anthony Randolph and Julyan Stone, along with executive vice president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri.

The Nuggets were in Las Vegas for the NBA Summer League at the time of the shooting. The players wore black headbands during their game the following day to honor the 12 people who were killed and dozens who were injured.