GENYOUth, a leading youth health and wellness nonprofit dedicated to creating healthier school communities, generated nearly $2 million during its annual fundraising gala on Dec. 4 at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. GENYOUth is a public charity whose flagship program is Fuel Up to Play 60, which was created by the National Dairy Council and the National Football League to improve health and wellness in schools across the country. The program is in 73,000 schools, reaching more than 38 million students since launching 10 years ago.
Pennsylvania dairy farmer Marilyn Hershey, who serves as chair of Dairy Management Inc., which manages the national dairy checkoff, said, “The gala once again showed how much we all have in common when it comes to driving health and wellness priorities in schools. The opportunity for farmers and major business leaders and influencers to network and align on our shared values is critical to our continued success, and we’re thankful to GENYOUth for making it happen.”
This year’s gala theme — “Rise By Lifting Others!” — embraced the importance and value of mentoring, inspiring, challenging, and investing in youth to help them achieve their personal best. Steven Williams, CEO of PepsiCo Foods North America, helped present the organization’s Vanguard Award to Kevin Warren, Commissioner-Elect of the Big Ten Conference and former Chief Operations Officer for The Minnesota Vikings.
New to GENYOUth’s gala are the Genny Awards, which honor individuals who embody the leadership role that GENYOUth serves in school communities by helping more students “Rise By Lifting Others.”
This year’s GENNY award recipients are:
- Agriculture: Indiana dairy farmer and registered dietitian Sarah Kuehnert for her commitment to youth education in nutrition and agriculture. Kuehnert connects the dots to show the true source of food.
- Program Advisor: Ann King from Westchester Academy in Houston for her achievement in promoting the benefits of nutrition and physical fitness to her students as a member of the Fuel Up to Play 60 Program Advisory Committee.
- NFL Leadership: Pro Football Hall of Fame member and retired Cincinnati Bengals offensive tackle Anthony Muñoz. Through his support of Fuel Up to Play 60 en Español and the work of his Foundation, Munoz is leading the way by inspiring Hispanic youth and their families to eat healthier, move more, and build leadership skills through character development.
- Health and Wellness Professional: The former District Director of Physical Education and Health Literacy at Miami-Dade County Public Schools for 34 years and current Project Director at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Jayne Greenberg is a physical fitness trailblazer. Greenberg was one of the first to start an all-girls FLAG Football program in her school district and has been providing engagement opportunities for students with disabilities to ensure inclusion in play for all.
- Corporate Leadership: Vice President and Executive Director of the NFL Foundation at the National Football League, Alexia Gallagher and Vice President for Youth & High School Football Strategy at the National Football League, Roman Oben for their successful efforts in carrying the flag for in-school physical fitness with the NFL FLAG-In-Schools program.
GENYOUth’s gala was generously supported by leaders and businesses from various fields including agriculture, food, fitness, technology, media, and sports, who encourage and invest in students to become the stewards of their own healthy-high-achieving futures.