Schools to collect sports equipment
Schools to collect sports equipment
NFL will give it to Boys & Girls Clubs
December 30, 2005
BY CHASTITY PRATT
FREE PRESS EDUCATION WRITER
Local children may not stay up late enough to see the end of Super Bowl
XL, or even see Ford Field that day, but many will have sporty gifts to
remember it by.
The National Football League, Detroit Lions and the Super Bowl XL Host
Committee have teamed up with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern
Michigan to collect sports equipment and books from students at local
The bats, balls and nets will be used at 14 club locations in Macomb,
Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties that serve more than 20,000 kids.
When classes start next week after holiday break, students at more than
30 schools will bring lightly used equipment and books to donation boxes
at their schools as part of the NFL Super Kids-Super Sharing initiative.
The number of schools participating in metro Detroit is the largest
since the NFL started the drive during the Super Bowl six years ago,
Jack Groh, the NFL environmental program director, said Thursday.
Lions' running back Kevin Jones recorded a video message that will be
played in participating schools to encourage students to get involved.
It isn't the only project the NFL does with Boys & Girls Clubs in Super
Bowl host cities -- Detroit is also getting $1 million from the host
committee and another $1 million from the NFL to help build the
Detroit/NFL Youth Education Town (YET) -- a new Boys & Girls Club on the
west side. The 30,000-square-foot facility will be part of the
Gardenview Estates community planned for the site of the former Herman
Gardens housing projects.
Students in the Avondale School District in Oakland County will find out
next week that their schools are participating in the donation drive,
said John Spicko, executive director of information and technology
"After the holidays are over and the kids have received their new
Christmas gifts and new sports equipment, we'll be able to energize them
to look for those things they might not be using anymore," Spicko said.
"We thought it's important for us to participate in assisting the Boys &
Girls Club. We have a very active club here in Auburn Hills that
provides terrific services to our kids," Spicko said.
Last year when the Super Bowl was in Jacksonville, Florida, the project
collected a gym full of equipment and books that were distributed to 11
clubs in the area, said Deborah Verges, president of the Boys & Girls
Clubs of Northeast Florida.
The donations -- 6,500 books and 1,000 pieces of equipment valued at
$22,000 -- included typical sporting fare such as balls and bats, but
also an array of equipment that exposed some children to sports they'd
never played, such as floor hockey.
"There are parts of the community that may never set foot near the game
... it may as well be happening in a different city," Verges said.
"But things like the book drive, the sports equipment drive, the new
building, those are some of the things that spread across the community
... and leave a lasting impression," Verges said.
"A lot of people don't see that side of the NFL."
Contact CHASTITY PRATT at 313-223-4537 or pratt@.... Staff
writer Lori Higgins contributed to this report.
Who's helping out?
Public and private schools participating in the NFL's Super Kids-Super
All schools in the Avondale School District, Bingham Farms
Elementary School and Harlan Elementary School in Birmingham Public
Schools, Bishop Foley Catholic High School, Patterson Elementary School
in Holly Area Schools, White Lake Middle School and Milford High School
in Huron Valley Schools, Lamphere Schools, Marian High School, Key
Elementary School in the Oak Park School District, Our Lady of the Lakes
Schools and Shrine Catholic Schools.
Seneca Middle School in the Chippewa Valley Schools district.
Cornerstone Schools, Regina High School and University of
Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy.
Ypsilanti High School in the Ypsilanti Public Schools district.
Compiled by Lori Higgins
You could help
Want to donate to the NFL's Super Kids-Super Sharing donation drive? If
your school is not participating but you have lightly used sports
equipment or books to donate, contact the Boys & Girls Clubs of
Southeastern Michigan at 248-473-1400.
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