The Chad Foundation for Athletes and Artists (NY and LA)
The Chad Foundation for Athletes and Artists is a non-profit, charitable organization with a 501 c 3 tax-exempt status founded in honour of young Chad Butrum who collapsed and died suddenly at 26 yrs. old while playing football in Van Nuys, CA with no history of heart disease. His foundation inspires youth to live as he did- “Healthy body/mind/ spirit.” (Chad never smoked a cigarette or drank an alcoholic beverage his entire Life.) The mission is to raise awareness of Sudden Cardiac Death in young people through educational lectures and videos and help prevent SCD through preventive heart screenings for high school and college athletes and the disenfranchised. The Chad Foundation has provided 4,300 free echocardiograms for students and student athletes in 5 states and globally- 16 and 26 countries of homeless athletes in Austria and Sweden, participating in the “1st and 2nd Homeless Streetsoccer World Cups.” Post 9-11, Chad and Living Heart provided 2,000 NYPD officers with complete cardiovascular screenings at The NY Police Academy. The echocardiogram is the gold standard for detecting structural abnormalities such as HCM (Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy), the abnormally enlarged heart muscle that is the number one silent killer of Sudden Cardiac Deaths in Young Athletes. In 2008, Chad expands their heart screenings for young athletes and students to include testing for cholesterol and sugar levels. Utilizing state-of-the-art Cholestech machines, sugar and cholesterol levels can be obtained in just 5 minutes with a single finger-stick. The CDC says 3,000 young people between 15 and 34 yrs. die annually from Sudden Cardiac Death. Of children born in 2000, 1 in 5 will develop diabetes. In prior events, Chad and the Living Heart found in testing 250 high school students in Holyoke, MA, one-third was found to be at risk for one or more premature cardiovascular risk factors: hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity and structural abnormalities. The secondary mission is to create art- film, theatre and books which tell stories of all heritages, encourage and celebrate the human spirit, and provide inspiring role models. The Chad Players have performed their plays, "All About Sneakers" and "Days of Wine and Roses" off Broadway for invited high school students and 500 homeless men and women in NYC. In Atlantic City, their production of 'Roses' was sponsored by the "Atlantic Commission on Missing and Abused Children" as the community event of the year to show the deleterious effects substance abuse can have on the family. The Chad Players have provided 9 off Broadway multi-cultural performances to challenge the mind and heal the spirit – “The Gift of Heart and Art.” .