Garth Brooks' tour stopped in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois April 28-30, 2017 for a string of packed shows but he didn't leave town without giving back to the C-U community. The Garth Brooks Foundation partners with ProCamps to host private day camps for youth 8-14 years old in some of the communities Brooks visits on tour. The camps target underserved and at-risk youth though, other youth were able to participate, as well.
PROJECT ATHLETES worked tirelessly with ProCamps, the Stephens Family Champaign County YMCA, and Don Moyer Boys & Girls Club to reach out to youth across central Illinois about the private camp. However, registration was not easy. Due to the privacy of the event, no promotion, social media posting, nor advertising of the event was allowed in advance and PROJECT ATHLETES was specifically prohibited from telling anyone the Garth Brooks Foundation was involved nor that Garth Brooks himself would be at the camp working with the kids.
PROJECT ATHLETES helped register 140 participants surpassing ProCamps' goal of 125. Participants at the camp represented each of PROJECT ATHLETES six operating sites.
Participants worked with University of Illinois Fighting Illini Football coaches and football players running through skills stations, playing games, and talking in small focus groups. Garth Brooks arrived for the last hour, worked with the kids, and spoke with them about loving others and being a good person.
It was an incredible morning, opportunity, and generosity from Garth Brooks himself.