Philanthropy and Community: Bringing It All Together in Columbus

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By: Paige Williamson, Senior Marketing Associate, JLL

Group picture of the football sports camp at Ohio State University hosted by Clayton Davis and the Five Strong Foundation

JLL Senior Vice President Clayton Davis and the Five Strong Foundation host sports camps for developmentally disabled children in the Columbus, Ohio area.

Headshot of JLL Senior Vice President Clayton Davis

It should come as no surprise that JLL team members love to volunteer and be involved in the betterment of their communities. Senior Vice President Clayton Davis is no exception. For the past 11 years, Davis has worked in one way or another to bring more athletic participation and exposure to developmentally disabled children and young adults.

In 2015, Davis and four other professionals founded the Five Strong Foundation (@fivestrongfoundation), a 501(c)(3) that strives to empower individuals with developmental disabilities through athletics, camaraderie and inclusion.

“We [the founders] all come from athletic backgrounds and have seen firsthand the positive impact sports can have on your life. We think everyone should have that opportunity,” shares Davis.

Initially, they fundraised for a Special Olympics team local to Columbus, Ohio. The money they raised supported the team’s travel and competitions. Then, in 2017, the Five Strong founders were inspired by their Board of Directors to begin hosting their own sports camps. In total, they held three Special Skills Sports Camps last year (football, basketball and soccer) that were attended by over 600 athletes, at no cost to them.

The most recent event, the foundation hosted a football camp at The Ohio State University on June 12, 2018. Over 325 developmentally disabled individuals attended the daylong camp, working in small groups led by members of the Ohio State football team.

Five Strong Foundation OSU Football Camp

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When planning these events, Davis and Five Strong always try to partner with universities as a way to expose the attendees to collegiate athletes, whom some see as their role models, and to further involve the community. In the past, they’ve teamed up with The Ohio State University football and men’s basketball teams, as well as Mount Vernon Nazarene University’s women’s soccer team.

Davis believes this type of partnership is invaluable: “It’s really amazing to see how the participants look up to these college athletes! Within minutes, they are following along and doing drills. We’re building real, authentic relationships here that they may not have had otherwise.”

If you’d like to get involved with the Five Strong Foundation, they are looking for volunteers for their upcoming soccer camp on Wednesday, September 12, 2018. If you’re interested in attending, please register by contacting contact@5strong.org.

About the Author

Paige Williamson is a Senior Marketing Associate in the Great Lakes region of JLL. Paige contributes to the development and execution of the Columbus region overall marketing plan. Connect with Paige on LinkedIn