Columbus Youth Foundation


The Columbus Youth Foundation’s link to sports and to the disadvantaged youth of urban Columbus began upon its creation in 1955.  A group of distinguished local businessmen created the Foundation that year to hold title both to the Columbus Jets, a professional minor-league baseball team, and the team’s Franklinton stadium.  Because the Foundation returned all profits to the community through grants to organizations that served the sick, underprivileged, and disabled youth of Columbus, it ensured strong local support for the team.

After the Columbus Jets dissolved and their stadium was sold, the Foundation’s Trustees decided that instead of closing the Foundation, its service to the youth of Franklinton and urban Columbus should continue as long as possible.  The Trustees chose to join The Columbus Foundation in 1976 as the first Supporting Foundation.  This relationship maintained Columbus Youth Foundation’s independence, while the Trustees were able to access the services and experienced staff of The Columbus Foundation.

Today, as it has since 1955, the Foundation focuses on Columbus’ young people through the grants made each year to organizations offering inner-city youth opportunities for sports and recreation.

Mission Statement

The Columbus Youth Foundation makes a difference in the lives of youth from economically disadvantaged neighborhoods of Columbus by providing healthy, positive opportunities to learn life lessons through recreation and sports.

Columbus Youth Foundation Best All-Around Student Awards 2012

2012 Columbus Youth Foundation’s Best All-Around Student Awards

Columbus Youth Foundation Best All-Around Students Awards

Since 1985, the Columbus Youth Foundation has sponsored the CYF Best All-Around Student Awards. These annual awards celebrate a male and female student from each middle and high school in the Columbus City Schools for their outstanding citizenship and achievements.

The awards event takes place each year at Huntington Park, home of the Columbus Clippers, and begins with a picnic for the students and their families, followed by recognition of their achievement in an on-field ceremony.

To support the Columbus Youth Foundation, make a gift here.


Since its inception, the Foundation has approved grants totaling over $3 million. The Foundation uses an online competitive application process with one deadline per year.


Catherine M. Lyttle, chairman; Archie M. Griffin, vice chairman; George W. Byers, Jr.; and Catherine T. Willis

Staff Contact

Interested in more information about the Columbus Youth Foundation? Contact Stacey Morris by e-mail or at 614/251-4000.

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