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A Decade of Champions

Posted Apr 28, 2010

Chargers Champions top contributor to education in San Diego

San Diego Chargers President Dean Spanos and his family made a commitment 10 years ago to support San Diego-area schools and students by providing grants and scholarships through Chargers Champions, a program of the Chargers Community Foundation. Since the program’s inception, the Spanos family has made good on that commitment by donating close to $4 million to deserving schools and students.

“I’m proud to look back over the past 10 years and see how many students and schools we’ve been able to help,” said Spanos. “Any time we have the opportunity to help schools and kids succeed, our entire community benefits.”

The Spanos family’s and the Chargers’ tradition of leadership and philanthropy is highlighted once again as the Chargers honor the 10 deserving students and six schools to receive close to $300,000 in scholarships, grants and computers.

Chargers Champions makes a strong commitment to improving physical fitness in San Diego County schools by providing grants for new facilities and equipment. The program also honors students for their outstanding leadership, service and commitment to their schools and communities.

Since the beginning of the program, Chargers Champions has honored 185 students and 80 schools.

Close to $2 million has been directed to schools for physical fitness and nutrition programs through the years. This year’s educational grants ranged in amounts from the $70,000 donation Castle Park High School received for a new weight room to the $9,000 given to Alpine Elementary School for fitness equipment.

Six San Diego-area schools received grants to improve physical fitness, athletic or nutrition programs:

$70,000 Castle Park High School, San Diego (Weight room)
$45,000 Mt. Empire High School, Pine Valley (Football, track and basketball equipment)
$30,000 Bay Park Elementary School, San Diego (Fitness area for visually impaired)
$25,000 Tierra Del Sol Middle School, Lakeside (Fitness equipment and heart monitors)
$15,000 Horton Elementary School, San Diego (Indoor fitness room and equipment)
$9,000  Alpine Elementary School, Alpine (Fitness equipment)
The recipients were selected by the Chargers Champions Leadership Team, which is comprised of key business, community and educational leaders in San Diego County.

The Chargers Champions Leadership Team
Doris Alvarez, Retired Principal
Ruben Barrales, SD Regional Chamber of Commerce
Dr. David Chao, Oasis Sports Medical Group
Marilyn Creson Brown, Silberrad Inc.
Steven Davis, Sempra Energy
Jim Esterbrooks, County Office Education
Chuck Lemoine, Sr., Wells Fargo Bank
John Shacklett, San Diego High School Sports Association
A.G. Spanos, San Diego Chargers
John Spanos, San Diego Chargers
Susie Spanos, San Diego Chargers
Ed Trimble, KFMB Stations
Ed Wallace, Sony USA Foundation
Bruce Ward, San Diego Unified School District
Dr. Randolph Ward, San Diego County Schools
Bob Watkins, R.J. Watkins & Co.; San Diego County Board Member

Ten local students were awarded college scholarships of $5,000 each and presented with a Sony laptop computer. The scholarships are awarded to high school students who attend San Diego County schools and have shown strong leadership and community involvement. 

The 10th Anniversary Class of Chargers Champions:

Wade Colburn, Fallbrook High School
Amanda Duarte, Granite Hills High School
Maya Eckhardt-Polanco, Borrego Springs High School
Enrique Garcia, Lincoln High School
Thomas Kwak, Escondido High School
Melissa Maher, Southwest High School
Ly Nguyen, Herbert Hoover High School
Matthew Plummer, Grossmont High School
Veronica Polin, San Pasqual High School
Katrina Wong, The Preuss School UCSD

Funds allocated to Chargers Champions are administered through the Chargers Community Foundation, the San Diego Chargers’ charitable foundation. The Foundation was established in 1995 by Chargers owner Alex Spanos to “help” San Diego build on its strengths by supporting individuals, activities and organizations that work to make the city a better place to live.



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