Washougal High grad, counselor launch Fair Catch Foundation

Nonprofit will help students afford sports gear

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2011 Washougal High School graduate Jesse Revesz (top center) and former Washougal High counselor Christina Mackey-Greene (bottom right) gather with their families in 2023. (Contributed photo courtesy Jesse Revesz)

Jesse Revesz endured a challenging childhood. He emancipated himself from his parents, both addicts, when he was 16 years old, and he spent most of his first three years at Washougal High School in detention.

Revesz said he lacked direction and positive influences, and didn’t think about his post-high school future. He entered his 2010-11 school year severely credit-deficient and on the path toward becoming a high school dropout.

“I was in trouble and I knew it,” Revesz said.

During his senior year of high school, Revesz met Washougal High counselor Christina Mackey-Greene, and said that is when his life began to change.

Mackey-Greene, along with Washougal High School Principal Aaron Hansen, formulated a plan for Revesz to not only graduate, but to thrive after high school.

Revesz followed their guidance and said it paid off in a big way — he graduated from Washougal High in 2011, earned his undergraduate degree from Eastern Washington University in 2015, and now works as a vice president of sales for TPS, a Stanwood, Washington-based construction material provider.

Now, with the help of his former school counselor, Revesz is giving back to the community that didn’t give up on him, even when he was at his lowest point.

Revesz and Mackey-Greene recently launched the Fair Catch Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to providing Washougal School District students in need with access to high-quality sports equipment.

“We want to give kids the confidence that they need to continue playing school sports, and we don’t want sports equipment to be a hindrance in that,” said Revesz, who lives in Las Vegas with his wife, Natalie. “When I was playing sports as a kid, sometimes the only equipment that I could get my hands on was equipment that didn’t fit me, that was poor quality, that I wasn’t proud of. We know there are resources out there for kids to access sports equipment, but nothing that really gives them the morale boost that sometimes kids need to feel part of a community.”

The Fair Catch Foundation endeavors to “remove the financial barrier that often prevents children from participating in sports by providing them with the necessary equipment to get started,” according to its website.

“Practice gear, shorts, tank tops, sports bras, undergarments — a lot of people don’t think about the expense of those things,” said Mackey-Greene, who serves as vice president of the organization’s board of directors. “At one point, 39 percent of Washougal students qualified for free-and-reduced lunch. If you’re … already struggling to clothe your child, and your child shows an interest in athletics, the family has to say, ‘We’re sorry, but we can’t do that.’”

The Fair Catch Foundation, Mackey-Greene said, helps prevent lower-income families from “feeling like there’s one more thing they can’t afford for their child to do.”

The foundation plans to raise funds through donations, sponsorships and, eventually, events. In the first 24 hours after its launch on June 6, it raised $6,162 from community members to go along with $17,000 from the foundation’s board members.

“We are incredibly excited,” said Revesz, the foundation’s board president. “We’re blown away by the generosity, but we went into this knowing that we had incredible people around us. The community sees that there’s a need. We believe we have a wonderful community to help out with this and that Washougal is full of committed, driven and caring individuals.”

The organization is currently working with Washougal School District employees to identify students who are interested in participating in athletics but have a “socioeconomic need,” according to Mackey-Greene.

“Kids won’t apply, and their parents won’t apply. Our goal is to kind of be in the background and not even have these kids know what’s coming,” Revesz said. “A student will be nominated by a faculty member — it could be a counselor, a teacher, a principal, you name it. Out of the blue, we will approach the student and the parent and say, ‘We’re the Fair Catch Foundation, this is what we do, and we’d like to sponsor you as one of our student-athletes.’ Mackey is currently filling those nominations, and our goal is to fully launch with our services for this next (school) year.”

The foundation intends to provide assistance to 12 students — two each from grades 7 to 12 — each school year.

“When we’re making these commitments to these kids, we’re not just going to support them that one year,” Revesz said. “We’re going to support them until they graduate or choose to not play sports anymore. This is a long-term commitment to these kids, so recurring donations go a long way to ensure that we operate for many years to come.”

To donate or learn more, visit thefaircatchfoundat