"Every kid deserves the chance to play. It's not a privilege. It's their right."–Eric Byrnes
The Let Them Play Foundation is a chance to fund opportunities for play and raise awareness of the plight of inactivity facing our children.
"There is a direct correlation between the degree of fitness a child has and their cognitive ability, their test scores, their academic success. We know from studies that if you don’t play, your brain is smaller. Play is essential."
-Dr. John Ratey, Author of Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain
Committed to being the bridge between small gifts and a big difference, the Let Them Play Foundation is focused on funding specific needs for organizations that provide the means and opportunity for children to play.
Grants currently range between $500 and $5000, and provide equipment, training, scholarships, even bus passes for athletes. We have worked with dozens of sports to date: baseball, soccer, track, lacrosse, dance, basketball, football, boxing, even CrossFit and are thrilled to have partnered with national organizations such as Playworks and Challenged Athletes Foundation.
Every dollar of individual donations is distributed through our grant program.
Our mission to raise awareness and be an example is carried through our fundraising. Whether it’s a Triathlon Across America or a 24-Hour Speed Golf Tournament, we believe in showing... not just telling.
Former MLB Player, endurance athlete and dad, Eric Byrnes, is wholly committed to a life of activity. As a child diagnosed with ADHD, Eric found solace, confidence and focus through exercise, physical education and play.
“When I saw what was going on with youth inactivity and the elimination of PE classes in America, that’s when I found my calling.” –Eric Byrnes
Eric, his wife Tarah, and their three children created Let Them Play Foundation. Knowing that a little bit can sometimes make a world of difference, they targeted the organizations that support after school activity and whole child wellness, and asked how they could help. The requests were astoundingly simple: 30 tennis racquets, 5 sets of umpire safety gear, 15 soccer uniforms, bus passes for athletes to reach their training grounds. Each of these specific examples, when added together, positively affected the programs for hundreds of children.
In their search for groups that carried out the mission of Play, they also found that most offered additional benefits of tutoring, community involvement, leadership, and place to belong. Every group has amazing testimonials of athlete success well beyond the “field”, boasting higher graduation rates, improved academics, and social and mental wellness.
Play is essential. Let Them Play!
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*All proceeds go to the Let Them Play Foundation.
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Experience The Triathlon Across America!Documentary Coming Soon 🎬
The Let Them Play Foundation’s 24 Hour Speed Golf Challenge was a tremendous success! Eric Byrnes powered his way to completing 420 holes in 24 hours, securing the Guinness World Record.
Together, we raised more than $50,000 to fund youth activity programs! Eric was joined by 10 different organizations throughout the day and they completed the course on foot with him to earn grants for their teams!
Dozens of tireless volunteers propelled the all day, all night, into the day effort and we are extremely humbled and grateful for the support. On our way to see every child, every day, in PLAY!