c3PR Helps Fight Childhood Obesity by Providing Pro Bono Public Relations to Sticks-2-Schools

Thanks to budget cuts, most kids get little or no physical exercise during their school day. It’s no wonder that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports approximately one-third of children and adolescents in the U.S. are overweight, or at risk of becoming overweight. In 2005, Johnny Mouradian, former coach and general manager of the San Jose Stealth Professional Lacrosse Team, and Eric Venzon, CEO of Teamwrkx Construction, decided to do something about it. Together with Mar Junge, principal of c3PR, they founded Sticks-2-Schools (S2S), a nonprofit organization that uses the sport of lacrosse to encourage children to become more physically active.

By 2006 the Sticks-2-Schools program was in 41 schools in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area and had reached more than 30,000 children. Watching children who were inherently inactive become comfortable exercising by playing lacrosse inspired many, and S2S became a labor of love for its supporters. For example, c3PR provided pro bono public relations services, and as the nonprofit’s secretary, Mar Junge donated her time to organizing board meetings and fundrasiers. c3PR’s Art Director Lisa Bianchi provided graphic design services to create an attractive new brochure and Faultline Marketing provided the website design and hosting.

At its peak in 2009, S2S had touched the lives of more than 40,000 youth in 78 Bay Area schools. In a satisfaction survey of teachers, 73 percent reported that the percentage of overweight students appeared to have decreased after a season of S2S visits. The program and the nonprofit organization are now under the direction of the Washington Stealth.