The relationship between Fox Sports Network North and the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities is indeed a natural fit. But in this case, the FSN connection is special, thanks to the network's ever-increasing level of commitment.
The network's All-Star program picks one boy and one girl every month from every area club and sends them to camp at the end of the year.
Also, the regional sports network's annual “Kids in the City” fundraiser invites children to a celebration at one of the local arenas, along with professional athletes from Minnesota's pro teams. (Twins outfielder Michael Cuddyer emceed the event last month.) Last year, the event raised $500,000.
“Every team has athletes there, but the kids are the stars of the show that day,” says Mike Dimond, senior VP and general manager of FSN North.
FSN added the North Home Team Scholarship, which brings the network and Minnesota's teams together to fund a $25,000 college scholarship.
Other network staffers contribute, too. Last year, sales coordinator Heather Varney used her passion for cheerleading to form a squad at one club. She even got the outfitters for the Minnesota Vikings' cheerleaders to make uniforms (“the same quality but not as risqué,” Dimond says with a laugh).
And FSN is now working to get more affluent suburban high schools to “Adopt a Club” and help fundraise for them.
Hoping to expand the program's horizons, Dimond recently arranged for a community theater to cast two club members in a production of Annie Get Your Gun.