Feb. 10 2020 09:07 AM

The nonprofit raised about $40,000 at the STMA annual conference.

The SAFE Foundation (Safer Athletic Fields for Everyone), which is the Lawrence, Kansas-based Sports Turf Managers Association’s charity, raised nearly $40,000 from auctions, raffles, bowling and golf events at the STMA annual conference in Palm Beach, Florida, held Jan. 14-17. It also received a surprise donation of $30,000 from the North Carolina Chapter of the STMA. This generous donation will fund SAFE’s entire research grant program for 2021.

SAFE awarded its first official research grants during the STMA Annual Meeting to two universities. The first project funded is a joint project between the University of Tennessee and Iowa State University to evaluate turfgrass mowing height and lower leg forces. The second research grant is awarded to Penn State University for Novel Methods for Baseball Infield Soil Testing. These grants totaled more than $15,000.

SAFE announced during the conference that it has hired a consultant to help the Foundation achieve its fundraising goals. Hartsook, one of the nation’s largest and most successful fundraising consulting firms, has been selected to undertake a pre-fundraising campaign study and is beginning its work immediately. The pre-campaign study should take about three months to complete.

SAFE’s goal is to fund sports field research and to award scholarships and grants to the brightest and best students and to fund the student challenge awards.