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FPPS Launches Ed Feeney Athletics Fund

Anonymous donors have given the Foundation for Portland Public Schools (FPPS) a $50,000 matching donation to launch the Ed Feeney Athletics Fund, named after retired Portland High School girls basketball coach Ed Feeney. When Portland Public Schools coaches, teachers, or school social workers learn of a student who lacks basic athletic gear to play sports, the Foundation can now purchase that gear for students.

Ed Feeney’s career is legendary. From 1979 to 2007, he coached the Portland High School Girls Basketball team, taking them to 11 Western Maine Championships and 3 Gold Ball State Titles. With more than 400 career victories, he was inducted into the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame, the New England Basketball Hall of Fame, and the Maine Sports Hall of Fame.

One thing always troubled him—the students who couldn’t attend practice, didn’t try out, or left teams because they didn’t have the right gear. Once, when a student showed up for a game in sneakers full of holes, Ed gave him the shoes he was wearing and drove home in his socks.

Today, school budgets pay only for basics like uniforms and helmets. Portland’s high schools have hundreds of talented and enthusiastic athletes without the resources to participate. Many of these students don't even try out because they lack the cleats, athletic socks, or other gear needed for practice.

The Foundation is accepting further donations to the Ed Feeney Athletics Fund to assist even more students. All gifts will be matched dollar for dollar. FPPS Executive Director Andrea Weisman Summers said, “We are thrilled and honored by this donation. The benefits of participation in sports are tremendous. Beyond physical fitness, participation in school sports fosters friendships, strengthens self-esteem, improves grades, and strengthens community. This is a chance to provide equity of opportunity for all Portland youth, build stronger sports teams in Portland, and honor Coach Feeney. When we reach our full match goal of $100,000, we plan to expand the program to middle school sports.”

Here's also a link to radio PSA about this fund: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1DTlLtdDsnBOu3pg1hHLJjBdb5EFsb2MJ/view?usp=sharing

The Foundation for Portland Public Schools is a nonprofit organization with a mission to be a catalyst for increased educational opportunities, achievement, and equity for all Portland Public Schools students and staff. Learn more about us at www.foundationforpps.org.