PROMISE Fund Athletic Drive Begins Wednesday

Pictured from left are Kevin Emley, Jamestown High School indoor/outdoor track coach; Ben Drake, Jamestown Public Schools athletic director and Jamestown High School boys basketball coach; Kelsey Fish, Jamestown High School girls varsity soccer coach; John Zabrodsky, Jamestown PROMISE Fund Advisory Board chairman; David Roehmholdt, Jamestown High School varsity baseball coach; Vicky Campion, Jamestown PROMISE advisory board member; Stephanie Camay, Jamestown PROMISE Fund Advisory Board member; and Tom Langworthy, Jamestown High School varsity football coach. Submitted photo

The Jamestown PROMISE Fund is back in action. This time the charitable group is asking for donations of athletic equipment to help promote and support its athletic programs to increase student participation.

The upcoming Community Athletic Drive is asking for any equipment and limited apparel donations. The drive kicks of at the Jamestown High School Battle off the Classes on Wednesday. There will be volunteers at the event from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. accepting donations. The equipment drive will run until May 10. Bins will be placed at each of the schools in the Jamestown school district for community members to drop off items.

The organization most recently organized a music equipment drive at the beginning of the 2018-19 school year. The total value of the 57 instruments donated during the drive was $15,735. Monetary donations totalled $1,491 separate from the equipment haul.

The PROMISE Fund has historically been involved in the district’s summer literacy program by helping with the costs. The organization intends on adding support to the now-expanded program.

John Zabrodsky, PROMISE Fund’s board chairperson, said he expects donations for athletics will be lower in value as they include apparel and various equipment for sports programs when compared to the music drive.

He said the overall goal is to promote sports participation specifically at the elementary- and middle-school level. With additional equipment donated from the community, the less of a burden it is for a young student to go out for a sport, Zabrodsky explained.

He emphasized the importance of joining a competitive and physical sport at a young age.

“The free play helps with their ability to like a sport or many sports,” Zabrodsky said. “It also helps in the long run, obviously, with their overall health. That helps, certainly in class with being balanced and healthy. That helps with the mental aspect with what’s going on in school.”

Zabrodsky got involved at the beginning of the fund’s creation as he saw a need for a charitable group to help supplement various needs in the Jamestown school district.

The PROMISE Fund attempts to help support various initiatives within the area that aren’t necessarily able to be funded by a traditional school budget.

“I certainly believed it was something that was required, given the financial restraints in the school district itself,” he said. “Having this kind of fund going into the future will support Jamestown Public Schools being competitive and support extra curricular activities in some way shape or form.”

A culminating event will be held on May 10 during the Joe Paterniti Memorial Track & Field Classic. PROMISE Fund volunteers will be present from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. to accept final day donations.