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WOW! – After hosting the 1st annual March Madness fundraiser at Arkansas Athletes Outreach we have discovered a few things:

This community is awesome – Our staff had a rough winter (Illness, surgeries, etc) and had to organize this in approximately 2 weeks, meaning we had to sift through the “I will definitely participate” people to find the ones that truly meant it! LOL.

Between our staff, Board, and approximately a dozen reliable people with large followings, we were able to raise 25K+ for the many area youngsters that need us to provide reasonable rates to experience our awesome programs. This was a much-needed win as we recover from the Covid 2020 financial hit.

It goes without saying that Brad Friess and yours truly, John Branca, were the top fundraisers – but that’s our job! (To be fair, Brad doubled my results)

The impressive Board members included Kali Davis (89% shooting and big money brought in!), Richard Loomis had half of his Pepsi office involved, and the newest Board member, Lindsay Letterle was backed by friends and Clorox to sit near the top of the Board efforts.

Local business leaders included the top prize winners of Scott Crossett of Cameron Smith Associates (He now owns a basket of Diageo’s finest brands!) and Tony Allen, Frito Lay (He will be enjoying a Hogs baseball game followed by dinner at Theo’s) – Great job guys!

Patrick Shanks had the advantage of high school ballers shooting his team’s free throws. Patrick, along with Tyler Gill - Henkel, Michael Bahn – Island Ventures, and Mike Duley – The Duley Group all had big efforts getting us to a number we did not expect to hit.

We learned that holding this event over spring break is not a good idea, and in 2022 when we start organizing a month or two earlier there is no ceiling! We may go national, have age divisions, vendors v vendors, Walmart v CPGs, a social event for sure, raffles, etc….Doubling our 2021 number is our goal!

Thanks to all of our participants – including our donation companies – KIND Snacks, Tootsie Products, Pepsi/Gatorade/Aquafina, Frito Lay, Materne/GoGo Squeez, and all the supporters of our team captains! And as always, thank you Hannah Hedges for being “on call” for AAO! -John Branca, AAO Development Director

Helping kids stay in the game to become better players and people!

What is 'Shooting For Scholarships'?

The AAO Shooting For Scholarships is an event hosted by Arkansas Athletes Outreach from March 15th to the 30th. Teams compete to score the most free-throws out of 100 and raise the most money. Funds raised will be used towards scholarships for AAO players. Donations and pledges can be made by following the steps below!

Step 1: Choose Team

Choose the team you wish to support below. Use their link to donate funds towards their team or make a pledge for every shot they make!

Step 2: Teams Compete

March 15th-30th teams will meet up to shoot 100 free-throws. Check-in for updates on scores!

Step 3: Collect Money

If you choose to donate a specific amount, your donation is collected the moment you check out. If you pledge a donation per shot, you will receive an email asking for a donation that is total "per shot" you pledged, multiplied by how many shots your team made.

Select A Team To Donate or Pledge

BE-LIKE-MIKE - KLAAS Mike Klaas

BE-LIKE-MIKE - KLAAS Mike Klaas

Team Captain, AAO Board President


Pistol Pete Long Pete Long

Team Captain

Teammate: Kelly Koontz


Phil It Up Phil Shelhammer

Team Captain, AAO Board Treasurer


Cash Money Kristi Coats

Team Captain, AAO Board Vice President


Dunkin' Davis Kali Davis

Dunkin' Davis Kali Davis

Team Captain, AAO Board Member


Game Face Garrett Griffin

Team Captain, AAO Board Member


Dunkin' Duley Mike Duley

Dunkin' Duley Mike Duley

Team Captain


Conagra Clutch Gary Elliott

Conagra Clutch Gary Elliott

Team Captain


Slam Dunk Samsung Paul Hernandez

Slam Dunk Samsung Paul Hernandez

Team Captain


Shot-Maker Sheila Anderson

Shot-Maker Sheila Anderson

Team Captain

Teammates: Tucker Anderson, Mackenzie Anderson, Billy Bob


Friess-On-Fire Brad Friess

Friess-On-Fire Brad Friess

Team Captain


The Trumbull Four John Branca

The Trumbull Four John Branca

Team Captain

Teammates: Harold Jensen, Bill Brown, John Pfohl


Light-It-Up Lindsay Letterle

Team Captain, AAO Board Member


Richard Make-It-Rain Richard Loomis

Team Captain, AAO Board Member


JUMPIN' JEFF YOUNG Jeff Young

Team Captain, AAO Board Member


GAMEDAY GAGE JENSEN Gage Jensen

GAMEDAY GAGE JENSEN Gage Jensen

Team Captain


Franchise Kyle Unruh

Franchise Kyle Unruh

Team Captain


Mo Buckets Sean Siler

Mo Buckets Sean Siler

Team Captain


Takeover Tyler Dees

Team Captain


They're Grrreat! Kelloggs Team

They're Grrreat! Kelloggs Team

Kelloggs


Tip-Off Tony Allen

Team Captain


Buckets Michael Bahn

Team Captain


Jab-Step Jeremy Hedges

Team Captain


All Star Andy Kaufmann

Team Captain Shadow Valley


Give and Go Patrick Shanks

Team Captain, Walmart



Skyhook Kristine Warner

Team Captain Shadow Valley


Crossover Scott Crossett

Team Captain


Swish Tyler Gill

Henkel Team Captain


Sure-Shot Stacey McGhee

Team Captain


AAO Arkansas Athletes Outreach