We are pleased to announce our first Awardco Goodness Grants recipient, Kasey Walkenhurst!
Kasey is the Head Coach of Farmington High School’s boys basketball team in Farmington, Utah. Not only has Kasey been a great coach and mentor to his players, but he has also gone to great lengths to provide positive experiences for the children with disabilities in his area.
Each year, Coach Kasey leads his team in organizing a basketball game for all of the students with disabilities in Davis County. When the students arrive at the game, they’re given official jerseys to wear and some swag to enjoy. Then, to start things off, the Farmington High basketball team leads them in various skill drills and warmups.
After a bit of training, the pre-game festivities begin! The students run through a player tunnel and are cheered on by their peers, the high school’s cheerleaders, and spectators from all over the county. The game is set up just like a high-stakes regular season game, with cheering crowds, fast-paced music, and an energetic environment. Kasey and his team want to make the experience as authentic and fun as possible. After an exciting battle, the game always ends in a tie.
Many students with disabilities look forward to the game each year—some have even participated for over five years! Parents have reported hiding the flier until the day of the game to be sure their child doesn’t lose sleep at night due to excitement.
Coach Walkenhurst has been running these games for over 10 years. When asked why he started hosting these games and continues to do so, he shared the importance of helping students with disabilities to feel included and valued. He also spoke to the effect the game has on his own players. As they help and support their fellow students, they feel a sense of true purpose and are able to take part in a greater cause. Working with their peers is both humbling and enlightening.
We want to express sincere gratitude for the work Kasey has done in his community, and in the lives of so many individuals! We’re sure he will continue to promote goodness in his own family as well, as he and his wife are expecting their first child!
Thank you, Kasey!