Greater Latrobe Senior High School’s Athletes for Change Club, formerly known as the Cat’s Pride Initiative, as well as student athletes from neighboring Greensburg Salem School District, are joining together to collect new or used sports equipment to distribute to children 12 years or younger in Westmoreland County.
Athletes for Change, also known as The Cat’s Pride Initiative, originated last year as an idea from Greater Latrobe student athletes Bobby Fetter and Tyler Lynch, who wanted to make a difference in their community. After a successful donation and distribution drive last spring, founder Bobby Fetter set his sights on expanding the program to reach more children throughout Westmoreland County by partnering with other local school districts. “The more it grows, the more people we can help, and that is our number one goal,” asserted Fetter.
Jumping on board to help with this ambitious goal are several student athletes from Greensburg Salem School District, including student athlete Abby Mankins, who believes, “Youth sports are such a key principle in developing competitive sports programs in school districts. Instilling the fundamentals of sports at an early age will only boost and build local sports programs. However, sports can be a financial hardship for families. Providing that extra help and equipment for kids to get a head start would be beneficial for schools and much appreciated by families in need of help. I believe youth sports are a central part of sports and are immensely beneficial for kids!”
Student athletes from Greater Latrobe Senior High School are committed to helping Athletes for Change as well, including student athlete Vinny Amatucci, who understands the importance of the positive impact sports can have on children. “Playing sports is one of the best opportunities a kid can have. Getting to make lifelong friends and memories is an opportunity that everyone should have if they want it.”
According to Jessica Yetter, communications coordinator, Greater Latrobe School District, donations will be accepted now through May 31. Upon collection, items will be inspected, cleaned and sanitized before distribution will occur. Anyone interested in donating sports equipment or apparel may drop it off at the Latrobe Municipal Building, 901 Jefferson St. in Latrobe, Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Monetary donations will be accepted to purchase equipment that is not received through physical donations; they can be made payable to GLSD and mailed to Cat’s Pride-GLSHS, 131 High School Road, Latrobe, PA 15650. For more information, contact Athletes for Change / Cat’s Pride at [email protected].
The distribution drive for the sports equipment will be held 3 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, June 8, at Twin Lakes Park Pavilion #09.
Equipment being collected:
• Baseball: gloves, bats, helmets, cleats, baseballs, batting gloves, ballcaps
• Football: cleats, footballs
• Hockey: hockey pads, hockey sticks, pucks
• Lacrosse: lacrosse sticks, lacrosse balls
• Basketball: shoes, basketballs
• Bowling: bowling balls/bags, shoes
• Soccer: shin guards, soccer balls, cleats
• Softball: bats, gloves, cleats, helmets, softballs, ballcaps
• Tennis: rackets, tennis balls, visors, skirts
• Field hockey: field hockey sticks, hockey ball, shin guards, cleats
• Golf: clubs (men’s, ladies, youth), golf balls, tees, golf bags, golf shoes
• Wrestling: shoes, headgear, singlets.