SALT Wins Commissioners Cup

A State Championship in volunteer work. Plus an exclusive interview with founder, Cary Blanton.


Via: Green Level Athletics on Twitter

In the fall of 2020, two students were selected on every Green Level Varsity team to represent the best of Green Level Athletics on the Student Athlete Leadership Team more commonly known as SALT.

The Student Athlete Leadership Team has worked to improve the local community through various community service projects. These community service ventures have included Folds of Honor Golf Marathons, adopt a highway cleanups, equipment drives, blood drives, Gator Gallups, a newly formed next level sports program, and much more.

Via: SALT on Twitter

The 4A Commissioners Cup Award is awarded by the NCHSAA to an athletic team or organization performing extraordinary community service.

Through all of these activities, the 4A Commissioners Cup Award went to our very own Green Level High School! The focus of SALTs campaign was the Student-Staff Basketball game. As stated by the NCHSAA, “The group wanted to serve people directly in the Green Level community, so they decided to sponsor a student in need, within their own school. They raised enough money through ticket sales, to purchase Christmas gifts for her, helping “her have a great holiday season”. Coincidentally, a few days before the actual event it was learned a family of one of their fellow student-athletes was experiencing financial insecurity. Some of the SALT members got together to brainstorm how they could help that family. Ultimately, they decided to collect donations at the door to the basketball game and received enough money to help the family pay some bills and purchase other items during December and January. SALT is delighted they were able to help members in their own local community.”

We got a chance to interview SALTs founder and student leader Cary Blanton on the recognition.

What inspired you to start SALT?

Cary: “Originally I was inspired to start a service club for student athletes because I really enjoyed the trip to White Oak elementary school that the soccer team took in the fall of 2019. I thought about how easy it would be for our school, with it’s incredible fields and resources, to serve our community through sports camps or other sport related service projects. I approached Mrs. Schaefer with my idea and it turned out she was already in the process of establishing SALT for the following year and she invited me to help her found it, incorporating my ideas into the organization.”

Tell us what it means to win this award.

Cary: The NCHSAA’s Commissioners Cup is a grant awarded to a select few sports teams/organizations within NC high schools who have either identified a need within their school or community and have aa plan to help or have already been performing projects to better their community. Over the course of the past two years, SALT has organized numerous service projects for our school and community. These include two sports equipment drives, two blood drives, the staff vs student basketball game, powderpuff football, volleyers, several Adopt A Highway events and more. When we submitted our application for the cup, we highlighted multiple of these, with a particular focus on our staff vs student basketball game. By winning the grant, we are being recognized by the state for the time and hard work that Mrs. Schaefer and our dedicated members have put in to serving our community. 

What do you see for the future of SALT?

Cary: The true future of SALT is bright, we are excited to welcome a new class of student leaders at Green Level soon and as the restrictions caused but the pandemic are lifted, we have many more opportunities for service we are excited to provide to our school’s athletes. As long as our members remain committed to serving our community, I have no doubt that SALT will become a more active and influential organization within our school.

This award is very meaningful to the school as it is essentially a State Championship in community service work. Great work to everyone in SALT who contributed to the Commissioners Cup.

Go Gators!

As long as our members remain committed to serving our community, I have no doubt that SALT will become a more active and influential organization within our school.

— Cary Blanton