08/23/04 — Baseball clinic set to help stop abuse

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Baseball clinic set to help stop abuse

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on August 23, 2004 1:58 PM

Bats will be swinging and baseballs will be flying at the third annual Take Me Out to the Ballgame baseball clinic.

It will be held Sept. 18 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Eastern Carolina Athletic Park, or ECAP. The rain date will be Sept. 25.

Sponsoring the event are the For Children Council of Wayne County and ECAP. The purpose is to spread awareness about the council's activities to prevent child abuse and neglect.

The free clinic is for boys and girls ages 6 through 14. Qualified instructors will guide the youths through the fundamentals of baseball.

Members of the Goldsboro Optimist Club will conduct their Tri-Star Sports Clinic, a skills contest for the children. They will be scored on how fast they run the bases, how well they hit the ball and how well they pitch. Awards will be given.

Children will receive free T-shirts, water bottles and baseball cards. Youths may take their own bats, gloves and helmets if they prefer. Otherwise, these items will be provided at the clinic.

Registration is limited to the first 100 children. To register, call the For Children Council at 734-1178, extension 238, or e-mail to jennifer@wagesnc.org.

A parent pavilion will contain several informational booths on parenting issues.

Various prizes will be given away at the clinic including two family memberships to ECAP, three youth wood bats, tickets to the Kinston Indians games and a baseball bat signed by members of the USA National Baseball Team of Durham.

There will also be an awards luncheon at noon, provided by ECAP. It will be a baseball picnic lunch of hamburgers and hot dogs.

Doug Kline, ECAP complex director, said "We are happy to have the clinic here. We are excited about the idea behind it and support For Children's efforts. We encourage people to come out. It's a great thing."

Another reason for the clinic, according to Charisse Johnson, For Children Council member, is to "let parents know that this community supports them in raising their children. We all know that old saying that it takes a village to raise a child."

She said sports is a wonderful opportunity for parents to build a good relationship with their children and also for coaches to be good role models.

"We believe that every opportunity the community can take to support children and parents, it needs to take advantage of it," Mrs. Johnson said. "We need to talk about child safety and child-parent relationships.

"The council's goal is to keep child-abuse prevention awareness activities in this community 365 days a year."

Anyone wanting to make a donation to the clinic may call 734-1178, extension 238.