Welcome to NovatoSpirit!  We are a 501c3 nonprofit providing athletic scholarships to children with financial needs. Our mission is to give kids a healthy way to improve their physical and mental health through their own efforts.  Our nonprofit’s registered name is KarmaSpirit—evoking the idea that good efforts yield positive results—but we do business as NovatoSpirit to reflect the community we serve in Novato, Marin County, California. 

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In The News


Soroptimist International of Novato produced a television show about Marian Schinske Huntington and NovatoSpirit hosted by Barbara Hurwick. To see the TV show, please click here: 


In 2018, KWMR Radio of Marin County hosted NovatoSpirit twice on a program hosted by Susan Santiago. To hear the radio shows, please click below:

*2018 Andrea Martinez-Ruiz Dancing.jpg

A book called Movement and Mentorship, Healing Kids through Sports about the positive impact of athletics and exceptional teachers on vulnerable children was written and published in 2018 by NovatoSpirit founder Marian Huntington, available on Amazon. Spanish and French versions will be available soon.


The City of Novato selected NovatoSpirit as their honoree for "International Youth Day," an event established by the United Nations in recognition of "young people's contributions to conflict prevention and transformation as well as inclusion, social justice and sustainable peace.”

NovatoSpirit's founder was celebrated in the City of Novato's  "Novato Proud" campaign, highlighting “Novatans doing great work in the community, innovative Novato businesses, fun facts about Novato and other stories of civic pride.” Marian was recognized for “selflessly and tirelessly doing notable work on behalf of our community.”

NovatoSpirit's Founder was honored by Marin Founders at the Buck Center in Novato in April 2015. Marian was celebrated as a founder of NovatoSpirit along with many other founders of Marin County nonprofits that are at least a decade old. Marin Founders ( estimates there are about 1,500 Marin nonprofits, 450 of which are active. 



Marin Women's Hall of Fame. In 2018 and 2017, Marian was nominated by several Marin county leaders, who believe in her work with NovatoSpriit and her work helping impoverished families.

Humanitarian Award. In 2018 and 2017, Marian was nominated for the World Of Children’s Humanitarian Award, which recognizes “an individual who has made significant contributions to children in the areas of child safety, social services or humanitarian services. Humanitarian Award Honorees are visionary leaders who run sustainable, high-impact programs for children.”

Individual Leadership Award, North Bay Leadership Council. In 2016-2018 Marian was nominated for the Leaders of the North Bay Awards, spotlighting those who contribute to the prosperity and quality of life in Sonoma, Marin, and Napa counties.

Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the Heart of Marin Awards in 2019, this nomination honored Marian’s 14-year effort to establish, promote and operate a program that helps families living in poverty.

Achievement in Nonprofit Excellence Award presented by the Heart of Marin Awards. This award ceremony, celebrating more than 100 nonprofits and volunteers throughout the county, is hosted by the Center for Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership of Marin. NovatoSpirit has been nominated for this award from 2006-2018.

Excellence in Innovation Award presented by the Heart of Marin Awards in 2016, this nomination honored Marian for founding and directing a unique program that significantly improves the physical and mental health of low-income kids.

APPLE Family Works “Volunteer Family of the Year Award.” Marian and her family were nominated for improving childrens' mental and physical health in Novato.

The Bay Citizen’s “Citizen of Tomorrow Award” which recognizes people in the Bay Area who improve their communities, solving challenges in creative ways. Marian was nominated for helping low-income youths overcome financial barriers to athletics in Novato, where residents struggle with high rates of obesity and diabetes.

The Beryl H. Buck Award for Achievement in Marin County. 

The California Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports “Spotlight Award.”  This nomination recognized our “efforts to positively impact the physical activity, fitness and well-being of California 's children and youth.”

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