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Marvin Lewis Community Fund lives on despite loss of coaching gig

Programs, scholarships will continue for now
Posted: 10:47 AM, Jan 04, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-04 16:06:16Z
Marvin Lewis Community Fund

CINCINNATI — Marvin Lewis will no longer be on the sidelines at Bengals games, but his namesake organization, the Marvin Lewis Community Fund, will continue to support students in the Tri-State and honor previously awarded scholarships.

A spokesperson for the community fund said the signature Learning Is Cool program will continue on through the 2018-2019 academic year. Learning Is Cool, which is in its 10th year, is an educational program that rewards students for strong academic performances, specifically for students who achieve honor roll status. The hope is to find a new home for the program so students can be rewarded for years to come, according to Natalie Anderson, executive director of the Marvin Lewis Community Fund.

"Coach Lewis is committed to supporting these students who work so hard to make the ‘A’ honor roll," Anderson said in a written statement. "We will continue to encourage and reward them for succeeding in the classroom throughout the rest of the school year."

More than 5,000 students from across the Tri-State were rewarded with a trip to the zoo thanks to the community fund in June 2016.

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Four-year scholarships awarded to the 2017 recipients at the Marvin Lewis Golf Classic will be honored as well.

The Marvin Lewis Community Fund was created in 2003. It has raised nearly $12 million for educational and outreach programs, according to the organization's website. Other initiatives include Hometown Huddle. In October 2017, Hometown Huddle built a playground at the Life Learning Center in Covington. The playground is now part of a daycare that supports parents who work but can't afford childcare. William Howard Taft Elementary School received a walking track thanks to the Hometown Huddle as well.

Lewis said being a part of the Cincinnati community "has been an honor."

"Our volunteers and donors have made a difference, helping us achieve our mission through all of our events and programs over the years," Lewis said in a written statement. "It has been a privilege to work with our partners empowering young people and raising awareness with them about how very important it is to have an education. What we did here was something special and we can never thank those involved enough."

The team announced Lewis was out as head coach on Dec. 31. Lewis said in a news conference that the decision to part ways was mutual.

"Mike [Brown] and I both decided it's time ... It was a tough moment for both of us," he said.

The announcement came the day after the Bengals finished their 6-10 season with a 16-13 loss to the Steelers. Lewis, the Bengals' head coach for 16 seasons, said he still wants to coach.