“I hope that the Bender Foundation’s gift can help Penn Track and Field provide additional valuable experiences to its student athletes. I am honored to have the opportunity to support such a great program.”
– Jason Belinkie
Every year, Franklin Field hosts athletes from across the globe at the historic Penn Relays. However, all too often, this is the only opportunity Penn’s track stars have to put their talents on display for the rest of the world. “There are often prestigious track meets that Penn athletes qualify for but can’t attend because of lack of funding,” says Jason Belinkie, W’04, an alumnus and former participant who currently sits on the team’s advisory board. With Jason’s help behind the scenes, and his recent gift to the Track & Field Strategic Priorities Fund, Penn Track will have greater ability to travel to such competitions as well as support for programs that enable student-athletes to grow as individuals. As Jason explains, “Funding is required to effectively coordinate valuable team initiatives and facilities that give back to the greater Philadelphia community, such as Penn’s Young Quakers Community Athletics program at the Netter Center.”
Jason is no stranger to philanthropy. He is vice president of a nonprofit organization that helps professional, Olympic, and college athletes volunteer with different charities throughout the world, and through the Bender Foundation, he has created the Sondra Bender Scholarship in honor of his grandmother. Understanding the importance of giving back, he has continued to support Penn, which he notes is particularly strong in keeping alumni like him engaged.
“In my case, Penn reached out to me individually to set up a meeting in the DC area, and following the meeting, I was presented with several opportunities that aligned well with my interests and desired level of giving,” Jason says. “They did a great job pinpointing the best way for me to get involved. Overall, I think Penn has been successful in combining personal outreach with concise, timely updates about what is happening both on campus and with other Penn alumni throughout the world.”