Spikes outfit EE Smith basketball teams with new shoes – Sports – The Fayetteville Observer

Fayetteville Minor League Baseball Team, Through Community Leaders Program, Foots The Bill for Nike News

EE Smith’s boys and girls college basketball teams got a surprise at Saturday’s Running of the Bulls cheer rally to kick off hoops season.

Fayetteville Woodpeckers president Mark Zarthar and sales manager Chaz Dawson presented Golden Bulls athletic director Lawrence Smalls with a check for just over $ 2,000 to cover new basketball shoes Nike for both teams.

“It made me really happy that someone in the community wanted to reach out and care,” Smalls said. “Sometimes we feel like we are alone. “

Dawson, an EE Smith alumnus, told the more than 900 students attending the rally to “do the things that matter. Work hard. You can achieve whatever you want.

He then announced that on behalf of the Peaks, a check covering the new shoes would be given to the two varsity teams. And the place has gone crazy.

“We wanted to bring joy to these athletes,” said Victoria Huggins, community and media relations manager for the Woodpeckers.

“We love that we can do things for schools and organizations that don’t typically receive this kind of support, and we hope to inspire other businesses to take over. “

The contribution of the Fayetteville Minor League Advanced Baseball, a subsidiary of the Houston Astros, is part of its community leaders program, designed to support local sports for youth as well as military service members and their families.

This program reinvested $ 75,000 in the community in its first season with the partnership of Segra, Aevex, ASUS, Carolina’s Dentist and the Walsingham group. His first project outfitted 25 Fayetteville-Cumberland Parks and Recreation youth teams from head to toe, including teams from the Buddy Baseball program – a non-competitive league for boys and girls with disabilities.

The Woodpeckers also bought a new dash after the original was damaged by a hurricane at the Buddy baseball field at Massey Hill Recreation Center.

The program also provided 1,000 hygiene kits to the children of Fort Bragg, sent dozens to Rick’s Place – a private green space retreat for military and military families, and funded $ 6,000 in scholarships. ‘Gold Star Studies for Children through the Patriot Foundation.

“We want to have a tangible impact on this community,” Huggins said.

The Peaks reached out to Smalls, who admits he was skeptical at first. But meeting Huggins and Dawson face to face, “I felt their passion and love for the community. They also really want to improve Fayetteville, ”Smalls said.

Seventy-six percent of Smith’s students are considered economically disadvantaged because they are entitled to free or reduced lunches. This factor made Huggins and Dawson more eager to help.

“We wanted to give them a boost of confidence: dream big, work hard,” Huggins said.

“Appreciation is so important. “

And the peaks don’t stop now. Increased support to the local community is underway.

“This is just the start,” Huggins said. “We have big plans for local athletes. “

Sports writer Monica Holland can be reached at [email protected] or 910-486-3518.

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