Live Oak — Dear editor:
Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone and the Christmas and New Year holidays are fast approaching, I wanted to let all of you know about some special people in our community who are touching lives in a very positive way. I’m not referring to those people that you read about in the newspaper or hear about in the news. These people are the backbone of our Youth Sports programs. They spend countless hours encouraging, teaching and coaching the young people who are participating in our programs. I’m talking about the coaches and team moms who are there to make sure these kids get the opportunity to dream big and experience the joy of being part of team. None of these coaches or team moms gets paid for the hours that they give. With a total of 81 teams during this past year, that means that there were at least 324 volunteers who served as coaches and team moms and that doesn’t include the people who were just willing to help on any given day. Using the standards of organizations whose main goal it is to calculate the value of volunteer hours, Suwannee Parks & Recreation volunteers have contributed $178,848 worth of service to you and our community!! Imagine if you had to pay for that out of your own pocket!
Another group of special people in your community are our sponsors. These sponsors give their money to help defray the cost of each program. You may think that these are just businesses giving the money as tax deductions but it goes deeper than that. These businesses and individuals are investing in the youth of Suwannee County! Without their assistance, the prices for the programs would rise too much for many in this community. Many times, a sponsor is a parent or grandparent who feels the call to help financially; other times it is a business just trying to get their name out there, letting you know who they are. Whatever their reason, let me assure you that these people care about the kids and the programs – an investment in the future! It is my hope that you will patronize the businesses who have invested in this community – letting them know that you appreciate their commitment.
I sincerely thank all of our volunteers and sponsors who so willingly donate their time and money to give the youth of our community the chance to learn those life lessons that they may not find anywhere else. This vital role will impact our future in a positive way.
Parks & Recreation Director