Brent Celek has a lot to be excited about these days…and who could blame him? Winning a division title in 2014, playing under offensive juggernaut Chip Kelly, planning a trip to the FIFA World Cup in Brazil and his alma mater, Cincinnati, off to a great start in college basketball. But none of these things can provide Brent with the same satisfaction he receives from his true passion… the “Take Flight Foundation.
The Take Flight Foundation, established in 2010, was founded to entertain, uplift and inspire children in the Greater Philadelphia area who are seriously ill and physically challenged. Brent, through the means of his foundation, has provided countless opportunities, support and resources to children and families in need and eventually plans to branch out in order to reach as many needy children as he can.
Despite his busy schedule, Brent was kind enough to take a few minutes to speak with us about the current and future plans for his pride and joy.
Q: Please tell me why you wanted to start the Take Flight Foundation? Was there any particular reason?
A: I think I’ve always been passionate about kids and helping them, especially when they are sick. This is something that they don’t deserve and I want to put a smile on each and every kids face
Q: Can you talk about the type of events the foundation runs?
A: The main thing we do is the lockers and take flight zone in the hospitals, which are basically areas where kids can check out video games, iPads, DVDs or anything else they can take back to their rooms. All of our work is to allow the kids to get away from their rooms and into a more fun environment. Our goal is to positively impact as many children’s hospitals as we can while starting in Philly and branching out to the tri-state area.
Q: What type of events are you planning to run in the future?
A: Right now we are focused strictly on hospitals in the area and we want to make sure we do a great job with each and every hospital until we branch out.
Q: What is the most satisfying part about running your own foundation?
A: Seeing the smile on kids’ faces, it absolutely never gets old
Q: Have you teamed up to work with any other athletes or any other foundations?
A: Sure, other guys have come out to help with my foundation, mostly teammates, but other players have mainly come out to events in the city to help.
Q: What are your future goals for the foundation?
A: Impact as many children as we possibly can. We are trying to make this as big as possible and reach out even beyond this area.
Q: Now that you have played a full season in Chip Kelly’s new and exciting fast paced offense, talk about how you feel playing within this system?
A: I love the offense, love the fast pace and communication aspect. Going into the second year I think we will build off of it and only get better from here on out.
Q: What are your favorite sports to watch and play besides football?
A: Basketball is second, both watching and playing, but I also love watching soccer. As of now I plan to go to Brazil for the 2014 World Cup.
Q: Are you excited for the realignment of the Big East Conference which contains your Alma mater Cincinnati?
A: You know how it is… it all comes down to the tournament. I’m excited with how they are playing right now and I can’t wait to see what happens come March.
In order to get involved, contribute to the cause or learn more about the Take Flight Foundation, feel free to visit the foundations website by clicking the link below