The Illinois Senate has passed legislation sponsored by freshmen State Senator Neil Anderson (Rock Island) to support young people in their pursuit of extracurricular activities like sports, music and the arts.
Senate Bill 1484 establishes “Preventing Lost Potential Day” as the third Saturday in September to celebrate and recognize the potential of young people, and ensure that all children have exposure to arts and athletics. “Preventing Lost Potential Day” is an initiative of the HAVlife Foundation, which serves to support young people in their pursuit of extracurricular activities like sports, music and the arts.
“Numerous studies have shown the benefits of music education and involvement in sports to students social, behavioral, and cognitive development. Unfortunately these are often the first programs to go when schools face budget cuts,” said Anderson. “The HAVlife Foundation works to prevent this lost potential by providing scholarships to students that cover things like instruments, summer camps, and sports equipment.”
The HAVlife Foundation was started in 2007 by Mike and Brenda Vondran in honor of their son Hunter Aaron Vondran. Hunter, a 13-year-old who was active in his school’s band and sports, was tragically killed in an accident in 2004. Hunter’s parents started the foundation to give students the help they needed to pursue their musical and athletic talents, like Hunter did.
Since 2007, the HAVlife Foundation has raised more than $500,000 which has been awarded as scholarships to students to help them achieve their musical and athletic goals.