Salvation Army March Madness benefits youth
The event brought teams from Compton and the surrounding communities together for an afternoon of exercise, fun, and friendly competition.
“We decided to do something exciting and fun to keep our efforts growing during this economic downturn,” Compton Salvation Army Lieutenant Robert Davidson said. “We remodeled our gymnasium, but the rest of the building still needs an upgrade.”
Twelve teams paid $200 per team or $350 for two teams.
“The grand prize this year is a 51-inch Samsung plasma television,” Davidson said. “We also have a big trophy and, of course, the bragging rights that go along with winning. The focus is camaraderie, and we have succeeded.”
“Our location follows the city nickname ‘Hub’ because of all the businesses and residents who come here expressing fellowship for our community and each other,” Davidson said. “It is raining outside but our ministry shines today because of the effort.”
Youngsters get the opportunity to participate in many positive activities at the Salvation Army.
“Basketball fans take part in the Educated Ballers Association program on Tuesdays and Thursdays,” Davidson said. “We just added karate and Tai Kwon Do this week, and 50 kids participated.”
The center also recently added students from a local charter school to diversify the experience for participants.
“They bring their basketball and volleyball teams over to compete,” Davidson said. “We hope to lease them space so they can increase their programs.”
As the country’s economic problems continue, he said, the need to give more to the community remains the focus.
“We need to double our fundraising efforts to keep up,” Davidson said. “The next event is our Good Friday Fish Fry on April 6. The meal will feature delicious catfish and tilapia with all the trimmings for only $6.”
Donations, he said, continue the work of the ministry in the community.
“People can mail their donation to 736 E. Compton
Blvd. or just stop by,” Davidson said. “No donation is too small.”
Checks should be made out to the Salvation Army Compton Corps.
“If you want to target an event like the basketball tournament for next year, put that in the memo section of your check,” Davidson said. “Donations otherwise go into the general fund.”
Compton resident Dion White said the center has been part of his life since he was a youngster.
“Today is all about helping the Salvation Army, having fun and playing ball,” he said. “The best part about coming here is hanging out with my friends while staying within my budget. Gyms are expensive.”
Sterling Perkins lives close by and enjoys the friendly environment.
“It is peaceful and competitive at the same time,” he said. “I come here to work out, and it is all about the game and nothing more. My friends and I have fun and enjoy coming here.”
For more information about the Salvation Army visit www.salvationarmy-socal.org, or call 1-800- SAL-ARMY.