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Legacy of 2012 NCAA Women's Final Four impacts Denver community

By Rick Nixon 

The impact of the 2012 NCAA Women’s Final Four on the Denver community will be felt for years to come thanks to numerous legacy programs that the NCAA and Denver Local Organizing Committee (DLOC) implemented in the Mile High City.

The lasting legacy was on display at a news conference held at the Boys & Girls Club of Denver on Friday morning.

Through the NCAA Middle School Madness, NCAA Pinnacle of Fitness, POWERADE NCAA Youth Clinics, Mile High Dribble, NCAA Junior Journalism Workshop, Stop. Shoot. Give., Denver Community Challenge, equipment donations through Wilson Sporting Goods Co. and additional DLOC initiatives, over 25,000 Denver middle school and elementary age children and their schools were impacted.

Thousands more, young and old, were touched by additional Women’s Final Four events including the national semifinal and championship games played at the Pepsi Center on April 1 and 3, Tourney Town Refreshed by Coca-Cola Zero at the Colorado Convention Center, the 4Kay Run Hydrated by POWERADE ZERO, open practices and autograph sessions and a research grant from the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.  Additional outreach included a visit to the Children’s Hospital of Denver by the University of Notre Dame and Baylor University cheerleaders and mascots prior to the national championship game on April 3.  In addition, local community organizations such as the Women’s Bean Project were also beneficiaries of Women’s Final Four programming. 

“We are always looking for ways to fully integrate the numerous Women’s Final Four events into the local community and in working with the Denver Local Organizing Committee we were able to achieve a great deal of success this year,” said Michelle Perry, NCAA director of the Division I Women’s Basketball Championship.  “Our ultimate goal each year around the Women’s Final Four is to leave a lasting legacy in the host community; in Denver we accomplished this objective with the assistance from many locally who shared our passion.  We wanted to recognize and thank those individuals and groups today.”

“Being able to host the 2012 Women’s Final Four meant a lot to the city of Denver and its citizens,” said Richard W. Scharf, president and chief executive officer of Visit Denver and executive director of the DLOC.  “It was important to the NCAA and to us that when an event of the magnitude of the Women’s Final Four came to town that our community felt the positive effects not only when the games were being played, but for many years following.”

 

2012 Women’s Final Four by the numbers

  • $20,000 –Approximate amount raised by 4Kay Run participants for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund in honor of the late North Carolina State women’s basketball coach. A $100,000 research grant was awarded to the University of Colorado Cancer Center and Young Women’s Breast Cancer Translational Program.
  • $8,313.93 – Amount raised through Stop. Shoot. Give. initiative to benefit the Women’s Bean Project, as fans stopped by basketball foals at Tourney Town and the Pepsi Center to shoot a basket, donate or purchase products from the charity.
  • $2,500 – Amount donated to the Paramount Youth Organization as the winner of the “Denver Community Challenge” at Tourney Town for having the most supporters register.
  • 2,000 – Number of youth who dribbled from Civic Center Park to the entrance of Tourney Town at the Colorado Convention Center as part of the Mile High Dribble, receiving a t-shirt from the NCAA and a basketball from Wilson Sporting Goods Co. for their efforts. Additional items were given to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Denver.
  • 1,000 – Number of youth who participated in the NCAA Youth Clinics at Tourney Town or ThunderRidge and Denver South high schools, including Special Olympians.
  • 4 – Number of Middle School Madness essay winners who received a laptop computer provided by the NCAA, with two desktop computers received by mural contest winners.