Thursday, March 27, 2014

Donations in Rick Dekeon's memory will support youth access to team sports

Jenna Bacolor, Executive Director, Community Education and Recreation

At this week's Board of Education meeting, I was honored to present news of a donation to Rec&Ed from Rick Dekeon's family and friends. Rick was a treasured PE teacher at Northside Elementary School for many years. He was also a long-time Rec&Ed coach, coach trainer and member of the Recreation Advisory Commission. 

Anyone who knew Rick understood that his passion was inclusion. He worked hard to make sure all kids could enjoy the benefits of team sports and running. He encouraged and motivated kids to participate, no matter how much money their family had, their skill level or anything at all that might hold them back.

After Rick's passing last fall, many former students and parents, AAPS colleagues and friends at Rec&Ed contributed to a memorial fund in Rick's memory. 

Keeping Rick's spirit of inclusion and accessibility in mind, Rec&Ed gratefully accepted the donation of $5,100 from Rick's family. The donation will pay for youth soccer and basketball scholarships for kids who wouldn't otherwise be able to afford our program, as well as Pay to Participate scholarships for high school students. 

So many people whose lives were changed by Rick want to keep his legacy of inclusion alive in Ann Arbor Public Schools. 

There are two ways people can do this: 

First, you can still make a donation in Rick's memory to Rec&Ed's youth sports scholarship fund. You can write a check to AAPS, with "Rick Dekeon" in the memo line. Drop it off or mail it to Rec&Ed, 1515 S. Seventh, Ann Arbor, 48103. Note "Attn: Jenna Bacolor" on the envelope.

Second, participate in a 5K run and walk, tentatively called "Rick's Run for Kids," to be held on Saturday, November 15, 2014 at Pioneer High School. An avid runner, Rick organized a kids' after school running club for many years at Northside. The run is a fundraiser for Rec&Ed's youth sports scholarship fund, so getting involved as a volunteer, a sponsor, or a participant is the perfect way to honor Rick's legacy. For more information about the race, contact Sean Williams at 994-2300, ext. 53214, or

Please consider sharing the news about how to continue Rick's legacy through your social and in-person networks. 

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