Mayor Michael Pantelides is proud to showcase a local family and their plan to supply children the sporting equipment they need, but otherwise could not afford. Thanks to the Armstrong family, equipment will be collected and donated as part of the Armstrong Pass, Pick and Play Initiative.
“The lessons I learned from playing sports as a child have guided me throughout my professional life,” Mayor Pantelides said. “In an era of ever-tightening budgets, supporting grassroots efforts that exemplify how Annapolis area families care for each other is fiscally responsible and emotionally rewarding.”
This initiative, conceived by the Armstrong family, is being supported by the City of Annapolis Recreation and Parks Department (ARPD), and Leadership Anne Arundel Flagship 2017.
“Sports equipment is expensive,” said 14-year-old Elizabeth Armstrong. “My brother and I have always been active in sports, and our family didn’t see a lot of good options for donating equipment we have outgrown to kids who could really use it. And when we thought about all the sporting goods our friends’ families have, we began to realize that if we put in the effort, we might really make a difference.”
Pass, Pick and Play is accepting equipment in good working condition for the following sports:
- field hockey
Cleats for all sports are also needed. Equipment that cannot be accepted includes weights, bicycles, bicycle helmets, sneakers, broken or damaged items.
Donations are being accepted through March 19. Families can clean out their basements, attics, and garages and bring their sporting goods to one of the several local drop-off locations below:
- “Pip” Moyer Recreation Center at Truxtun Park (PMRC) at 273 Hilltop Lane, Annapolis, MD 21403
- Annapolis City Hall at 160 Duke of Gloucester, Annapolis, MD 21401
- Calvary United Methodist Church at 301 Rowe Blvd., Annapolis, MD 21401
- The Key School at 534 Hillsmere Blvd., Annapolis, MD 21403
- Historic London Town and Gardens at 839 Londontown Road, Edgewater, MD 21037
This equipment will be made available, at no cost to families in need, during a day-long celebration on April 1, 2017 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the “Pip” Moyer Recreation Center in Annapolis.
Evidence continues to mount about the importance of an active lifestyle for children and youth, yet there are increasing financial barriers to participation in organized sports for children from low income families, or for families who are struggling with job loss. In fact, according to a recently released United Way “Study of Financial Hardship,” one third of Maryland families can’t afford the cost of living and don’t earn enough to afford basic necessities or emergency costs. This initiative seeks to level the playing fields while also teaching children involved in the collection and distribution process the importance of being good citizens in their communities.
Local community members can participate in a variety of ways:
- Spreading the Word – Share information about Pass, Pick and Play via email and social media to spread the word to your team, parents, coaches and community members.
- Collecting Sporting Goods – Any community member can lead his or her own “mini-drive” by encouraging offices, teams, scouting groups, religious organizations, neighborhood associations, schools or other organizations to collect sporting goods and bring them to a donation site.
- Volunteering – Local teams/organizations/families can help with the sorting and organizing process which will take place throughout the collection period, as well as during the distribution event on April 1. Students can earn service learning/community service hours through participating in the program as ARPD staff will validate volunteer time.