Westlake’s Doug and Kristy Amy, the parents of three boys, were looking for an opportunity to get their kids involved in helping out and giving back.
“We looked to the Boys and Girls Club of Cleveland and found out they had no baseball or softball program,” Amy said.
Amy, a coach with the Westlake U11 Parkside Panthers Travel Baseball Team, saw a need to be filled and began collecting equipment.
“Our goal is to collect enough equipment to start a program,” Amy said. “That could mean outfitting 75-100 boys and girls.”
The Parkside Panthers have organized a drive to do just that. They are looking for new or used baseball and softball gear and equipment for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland for kids between the ages of 6-18. This includes: bats, gloves, balls, tees, batting helmets, catching equipment, batting gloves, whiffle ball bats and balls, tennis balls, baseball/softball equipment bags, general athletic equipment bags, and hitting nets.
“Any kind of gently used baseball or softball equipment,” Amy said.
He noted they are working with the Boys and Girls Club on Broadway which Amy estimates has about 450 kids, 120 of which are served daily.
The Amys are hoping that once equipment is collected (see below for collection dates and locations), the Panthers can hold skills clinics at the clubs.
“The (Demons) igh school baseball and softball players have agreed to get involved and hold skills clinics,” Amy said.
The effort is not just limited to the Panthers.
Tony Cipollone (Director of Athletics for the Westlake City School District), Brendan Zepp (Head Baseball Coach for Westlake), Tom Shiban (Head Softball Coach for Westlake), the Westlake Recreation Department and Westlake City Schools are also helping out.
“Every Westlake school is involved,” Amy said.
The Amy’s are no strangers to helping out. Doug’s wife, Kristy Amy, after meeting the founder of Soul to Sole in Lorain County, started a sister program for the Cleveland Boys and Girls Clubs. That program raises money for all the Boys and Girls clubs for athletic shoes.
Where to donate
- Monday, Feb. 18 through Friday, March 22 at Westlake Recreation Center, 28955 Hilliard Boulevard
- Tuesday Feb. 19 through Frida, March 22 at Bassett, Dover, Holly Lane elementary, Parkside Intermediate, Lee Burneson Middle and Westlake High schools.
In addition to the above locations, all members and coaches of the Parkside Panthers are willing to collect gear.
What to donate
Bats, gloves, balls, tees, batting helmets, catching equipment, batting gloves, whiffle ball bats and balls, tennis balls, baseball/softball equipment bags, general athletic equipment bags, and hitting nets.