Raise the Future chosen as Team Giannis’ beneficiary for NBA All-Star Game

Feb 7, 2023, 7:53 PM | Updated: Feb 8, 2023, 3:01 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — As the NBA All-Star weekend in Salt Lake City approaches, several local charities have been chosen as beneficiaries, including Raise the Future, KSL TV’s Wednesday’s Child partner.

“We got a call about a week ago from members of the NBA and the NBA Cares Foundation, and they just told us that Team Giannis had chosen Raise the Future as their charity beneficiary,” said Lindsay Kaeding, acting vice president of development and communications for Raise the Future. “It feels surreal and amazing and exciting, and we’re just so incredibly grateful.”

Being chosen as a beneficiary for Team Giannis is a big opportunity for Raise the Future — an organization dedicated to serving children living in foster care in Utah, Colorado, and Nevada. During the NBA All-Star Game and NBA All-Star Practice presented by AT&T, a total of $750,000 will be contributed to Team Giannis’ charity, Raise the Future, and Team LeBron’s charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Utah.

“This is going to be huge for us, not just brining awareness to the hundreds of thousands of kids that are waiting across the nation in foster care for permanency, for a connection and a family, but also financially,” Kaeding said. “We have about 40 or so kids that have been sitting on a wait list that we haven’t been able to provide services for, and this financially will help us be able to take some of those kids and be able to create connections for them.”

On Tuesday, Kaeding shared the news with the Peterson family at Raise the Future’s office in Midvale.

“I don’t even know how I can express how awesome I think it is, like, this organization has changed our family’s life,” said Jenny Peterson.

Kirk and Jenny Peterson adopted their three youngest children from foster care in 2021 and have since received family support services from Raise the Future.

“It’s just been amazing to have coaches that help us,” Peterson said. “We’ve gone to a camp where they can learn coping skills when they (the kids) have anxiety.”

What the Petersons didn’t know during their visit to Raise the Future Tuesday was that Kaeding also had news for them regarding the NBA All-Star game — tickets for the entire family.

“I’m super excited. I’ve been dreaming of going to an All-Star Game for a long time,” said Quade Peterson, Jenny and Kirk’s oldest son. “I just love the NBA and all the players, and I especially love Giannis.”

The Peterson family was thrilled to learn that they, along with many other families working with Raise the Future, were being invited to attend the game. Quade, who was sporting a Giannis Antetokounmpo jersey, instantly started texting his friends.

“I don’t even know what I’m going to tell them, I’m so excited right now,” Quade said. “I’ve been a fan of Giannis for quite some time. I just love how humble he is and he’s such a good guy.”

Kirk and Jenny Peterson said attending the NBA All-Star Game as a family is something they will never forget, adding that it’s an opportunity to strengthen their family bond and make more memories together.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Jenny said. “There is no way we would get to do this otherwise, and honestly, I still can’t believe it’s happening.”

For the team at Raise the Future, being selected by Team Giannis is an honor.

“It means so much just for someone to step up and say the work you’re doing is important, that these kids are important, and for the NBA and players to care about these youth that are in foster care,” Kaeding said.

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Raise the Future chosen as Team Giannis’ beneficiary for NBA All-Star Game