Recreation Association Delivers Sporting Goods Gifts - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

11/29/05

Recreation Association Delivers Sporting Goods Gifts

Biloxi children will benefit from a special delivery that arrived at Hiller Park Tuesday.

The Mississippi Parks and Recreation Association brought a U-Haul trailer filled with sports equipment, a gift that provides a big boost to the city's recovering recreation program.

The sporting goods arrived at Hiller Park, which is headquarters for the City of Biloxi Recreation Department.

"What we started was a disaster relief fund. Then he offered his multi purpose building in Canton as a collection point and distribution center," said Michelle Burrell, who's president of the Mississippi Parks and Recreation Association.

The boxes of ball gloves and soccer balls and football gear will help meet an enormous need.

"Any football equipment we can get it great. We lost about forty thousand dollars worth of football equipment," said Sherry Bell with the City of Biloxi.

This shipment of sporting goods comes from recreation departments across the country. The Mississippi Parks and Recreation Association organized the donations and is planning similar help for other storm damaged areas.

"We have collected donations from other recreation departments across the nation and are looking to expand to other nations as well," Burrell said.

Balls and bats and uniforms will help the City of Biloxi get its popular youth sports programs up and running again.

Nathan Sullivan is the City of Biloxi Recreation Director.

"The sooner we can get things back to normal recreationally, the better off we'll all be. And we've got some programs already going. We registered recently for Pee Wee basketball and also for soccer," he explained.

The Parks and Recreation Association promises this gift is only the beginning. More and more departments across the country are getting involved.

"We are also looking to receive other contributions in the future. So, we should be making more trips to the coast area," said Burrell.

It wasn't just city recreation departments that donated the gear. The shipment included sporting goods from Ole Miss and flag football equipment, courtesy of the NFL's Tennessee Titans.

By Steve Phillips

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