Garrett Colvin, founder, Fantasy Sports 4 Life
This 17-year-old rising senior at South Forsyth High School leads a nonprofit that organizes fantasy sports contests online and donates the proceeds to the Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Foundation.
After losing his maternal grandmother to COPD, Colvin wanted to do something in her honor. Having played fantasy sports since age 9, he realized he could use his pastime to raise funds for COPD awareness and prevention.
COPD refers to an array of conditions that cause decreased airflow, shortness of breath and chest tightness. It is most common in people over 40 who have been smokers, but it can result from air pollution or genetics.
Colvin said Fantasy Sports 4 Life is the first fantasy sports platform dedicated to one charitable cause. Money is raised from entry fees to seasonal fantasy sports contests; winners get prizes donated by corporate sponsors. Colvin works closely with the national COPD Foundation in funding research and awareness.
Fantasy sports games, in which people compete with virtual teams of real athletes, have become a multibillion-dollar industry.
“Fantasy Sports 4 Life uses fantasy sports as innovative philanthropy in raising funds and awareness for a disease,” the 17-year-old said. “This summer we’re planning to scale it big across the country — open it up to everybody.”