Barb Lazarus is the founder and owner of Game On! Sports 4 Girls, an organization committed to developing and operating multi-sport summer day camps and school year programs that empower young girls of all athletic abilities through sports. Game On! launched its summer camp in 2007, exceeding expectations with more than 200 campers. Since then, Game On! has experienced explosive growth, opening a second camp in downtown Chicago in 2011, and then expanding beyond the borders of Illinois with camps in Ohio and Colorado in 2015.
In essence, Game On! harnesses the power of sports to shape the strong girls that develop into the valued teammates and high achievers of tomorrow.
Now having finished its tenth summer, Game On! is known for providing unique and customized athletic experiences for girls ages 4 –14. Barb, alongside Director of Operations Sara Hokin and a talented team that is growing nationwide, has devoted years to developing customized teaching techniques coupled with an environment most conducive to learning, growth and fun. The results include impactful programs that effectively foster girls’ appreciation for sports and fitness, self-esteem and values that shape strong character. This is Barb’s passion. This is her mission. This is her dream.
Barb also coordinates a scholarship fund that supports deserving young girls in their efforts to afford Game On! programming. In addition to Game On! scholarships, this fund is proud to have raised money to support training scholarships for Paralympic hopefuls in the sport of Judo, 5 leadership camp scholarships for Girls in the Game, and funding for a college lacrosse athlete to represent the United States on a team bound for Australia.
Barb’s heartfelt desire to impact young girls through sports does not stop with her sports programming for girls and scholarship fund. During the school year, Barb and her caring team are committed to offering sports clinics at no charge to help local Girl Scout, Brownie and Daisy Troops to earn their “Try It” or “Fair Play” Badges in sports and fitness. In addition, they travel the Chicagoland area offering free “Proud to Throw Like A Girl” or “Proud to Play Like A Girl” sports clinics.
A nationally recognized advocate for young girls in sport, Barb is a regular participant in espnW’s annual summits and is honored to have attended two Global Sport Mentoring Program luncheons, a cooperative program organized by the U.S. State Department and espnW. A few years back, she also partnered with espnW writer and ESPN radio host Sarah Spain to create the espnW Chicago Sports Connection, a group committed to connecting and promoting young girls with high achieving female professionals within Chicago’s sporting community. She looks forward to continued involvement espnW, Toyota, and the global women in sports initiatives.
In October, 2013, Barb was proud to be one of three women across the country to receive the inaugural Everyday Hero Award, presented by Toyota, recognizing her for her meaningful impact on women and girls.
Barb graduated with a B.A. from the University of Michigan (1982) and a J.D. from Loyola University of Chicago School of Law (1985) and served as an Assistant United States Attorney from 1986 to 1990. In 1991, she accepted the newly created position of Press Secretary for the Department of Justice for the Northern District of Illinois and held that position until she opened what was to become a successful media relations business in 1994.
An avid cross trainer and sportsman, Barb truly cherishes all opportunities to sweat. For more than 40 years, she has participated on an “A League” softball team. Barb also currently sits on the Board of the Highland Park High School Athletic Hall of Fame in which she is an inductee. Barb is happily married, and she and her husband have raised two active sons.
The Game On! website is located at www.gameonsportscamp.com.