Outsiders Ball Aims to Knock It Out of the Park (again) this Summer – Bringing Industry Leaders Together to Address the Growing Divide Between Young People and Nature

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Proceeds to support retailer-recommended community projects while helping build a strong Outdoor Nation.

The Outdoor Foundation, the charitable arm of the Outdoor Industry Association®, is once again calling on outdoor leaders to join together and tackle our industry’s biggest challenge, the growing divide between young people and nature. Building on the success of last summer’s event, Outsiders Ball will take place on the eve of Outdoor Retailer Summer Market at the Gallivan Center in downtown Salt Lake City. The event will support local retail community projects while helping build a strong Outdoor Nation – driving business and participation.

Last year, thanks to the generous support of sponsoring companies, industry leaders, and Ball attendees, the event hit it out of the park – raising almost $400,000, investing in 100 nonprofit projects across the country and supporting Outdoor Nation. The expected return: 20,000 youth engaged in outdoor activities. In 2014, the Foundation is raising the stakes, calling on every industry member – from executives to associates to interns -- to join together and party for a purpose. The goal is to raise $500,000 and engage 50,000 youth in outdoor recreation. – leveraging additional support from other sectors and partners. Sponsorship opportunities for Outsiders Ball are available -- for more information, visit outsidersball.org or email Chris Fanning at cfanning@outdoorfoundation.org.

In 2014, outdoor retailers will play a major role in the Foundation’s work, including involvement in Outdoor Nation and Outsiders Ball. To this end, the Foundation is launching the Outdoor Retailer Project Fund in conjunction with the Ball, giving brands an easy way to support local retailer-endorsed community projects that get youth and young adults outdoors and active. The innovative initiative is twofold: First, it enables outdoor companies to align business objectives with giving goals – directly supporting key retailers and their connection with community. Second, it allows local retailers to promote their business, invest in great programs and strengthen outreach within their communities. Outdoor retailers are encouraged to submit deserving nonprofit projects through a simple online platform.

“This year, the Outdoor Foundation is strategically focused on supporting our local retailers’ relationships with their communities as a way of furthering our mission of inspiring a new generation of outdoor enthusiasts,” said Chris Fanning, executive director of the Outdoor Foundation. “We believe retailers have an important role to play not only in our industry but also in the critical work of connecting youth and nature. We hope this program will help build a stronger Outdoor Nation -- bringing more people into the outdoors as well as into local retail locations across the U.S.”

Each non-profit project selected will be showcased at the Outsiders Ball 2014 with the hope of raising additional funds to support these noteworthy causes. Last year, the event supported more than 50 retailer-recommended projects across the country. The goal this year is to support 100 retailer-endorsed community projects as well as support Outdoor Nation and its work to engage and empower a new generation of outdoor enthusiasts.

About the Outdoor Foundation
The Outdoor Foundation is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to inspiring and growing future generations of outdoor leaders and enthusiasts. Through groundbreaking research, youth engagement and empowerment and effective grant making, the Foundation works with young leaders and partners to mobilize a major cultural shift that leads all Americans to the great outdoors. In 2010, the Foundation launched Outdoor Nation, a pioneering initiative that empowers young leaders to champion the outdoors on campuses and in communities across the United States. For more information visit: OutdoorFoundation.org and OutdoorNation.org.

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