At the request of Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne, the Walt
Disney Corporation has given $5,000 to Idahos Youth Endowment for Activities
"The Disney Corporations donation of $5,000 is a tremendous
tribute to the memory of one of Idahos finest citizensLillian Bounds
Disney," said Gov. Kempthorne.
Lillian Bounds Disney, wife of Walt Disney, was born 100 years ago in
Spaulding, Idaho. She grew up in Lapwai, a community on Idahos Nez Perce Indian
In 1917, Lillian played on the Lapwai girls basketball team. Walt
Disney and Lillian Bounds were married in Lewiston, Idaho July 13, 1925. Mrs. Disney died
Dec. 15, 1997, exactly 31 years after her husband died.
The donation is being made to the Youth Endowment for Activities
Foundation, a project of the Idaho High School Activities Association (IHSAA).
Goal of the Youth Endowment is to raise $9.4 million for a permanent
fund to pay for all state high school championships sponsored by the IHSAA. Since its
inception in 1987, the Endowment has raised $1.4 million.
Each year, more than 41,000 Idaho high school students participate in
IHSAA-sponsored athletic events, including football, volleyball, track, cross country
running, boys and girls basketball, wrestling, tennis, girls softball,
baseball and golf.
Thousands more participate in IHSAA events for speech, drama and
Despite the acknowledged importance of extracurricular events in
preparing students for society, less than 1% of school budgets are traditionally spent on
after-school activities like sports, drama, music and debate.
Fully funding the Youth Endowment will enable well over 4,000
additional students, each year, to participate in new state championships sponsored by the
These additional state championships will include new opportunities for
the performing artssuch as dance and drill teams, solo and ensemble music festivals,
concert bands and choirsas well as athletic teams and cheerleading squads.
Gov. Kempthorne said, "Idaho hasnt had a statewide music
championship sponsored by the IHSAA since 1952. Fully funding the Youth Endowment could
Its costly to send kids to state championships.
The IHSAA estimates that Idaho schools spend up to $850,000 a year to
send kids to state championships.
The Governor added, "Since the Youth Endowment will replace those
tax dollars, schools can use the savings for classroom equipment, library materials and
other critical academic needs.
"Other states are looking at Idahos effort as a great
example of a public/private partnership that works."
Idaho is the first state in the nation to attempt to independently fund
its state high school championships through a private foundation.