Young Athletes Foundation (YAF)

A nonprofit organization

$2,314 raised

46% complete

$5,000 Goal

The Young Athletes Foundation (YAF), in partnership with Grandma's Marathon, has worked since 1990 to help provide pathways and opportunities for children to live more healthy and active lifestyles. Since inception, our organization has contributed more than $1.1 million to athletic, recreational, and nonprofit organizations in our five-county region in northeastern Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin. 

Now more than ever, we have lots to do and less money to do it with. So, we're here asking for your help. Help us continue our powerful and vital work within our community, help us continue our support of area nonprofits, and help us continue to empower, engage, and develop the minds and bodies of our region's children.

Each donation, big or small, will have a direct and lasting impact on our area's kids by helping our organization continue our mission of providing opportunities and pathways to healthier and more active lifestyles.

Don't wait for someone else to do it. The gift you make today can and will change a young life forever.

Our community. Your kids. Their future.


We've awarded more than $475,000 in lifetime grants to over 150 youth athletic, recreational, and nonprofit organizations, helping with everything from equipment needs to registration costs.

VIDEO TESTIMONIALS: Jungle Boy Boxing Gym | Duluth Lacrosse | Pike Lake Junior Golf

The grant program is available to any qualifying organization based in Carlton, Cook, Douglas, Lake, and St. Louis Counties that strive to provide children with opportunities to participate in recreational and athletic activities.


More than 4,750 high school athletes from 30 area schools have received a free running shoe certficate from the YAF, totaling more than $315,000 in all-time donations. 

SHARE YOUR STORY: Current YAF Committee chairperson Alissa Boyhtari (picture right), who herself was a beneificiary of this program, recently wrote about the positive influence a new pair of shoes had during her high school running career.

This program, which relies on the support of the YAF's local running store partners - Duluth Running Company, Tortoise & Hare Footwear, and Austin Jarrow -is now offered annually to every high school within our five-county region that has a varsity cross country and/or track and field team.


The Eleanor Rynda Scholarship Program, since 2007, grants $1,500 each year to one male and one female cross country runner at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD). The scholarship program has contributed more then $28,000 to selected UMD student-athletes, helping them pursue excellence in both school and sport. 


A central pillar of the Young Athletes Foundation (YAF) is providing free and accessible programming for our area’s kids throughout the year. These events are focused on providing children with opportunities to experience running in a fun and supportive atmosphere while also building on our mission of providing pathways to a healthier and more active lifestyle.

Just in the last year, more than 3,500 families and their children were able to participate in one or several of the following events, which are all FREE and open to any children ages 14 and under.

Wednesday Night at the Races | Saturday Morning at the Races | Fit-N-Fun Run | Winter Challenge

Organization Data


Organization name

Young Athletes Foundation (YAF)

Tax id (EIN)



Children & Family Community Sports


PO BOX 16234
DULUTH, MN 55816