About 20 members of the Greenwich High School Youth Equipment Sharing Club – YES for short – spent the day on Saturday organizing all the donations to their sports equipment collection. The club, under the leadership of Romano Orlando, Greg Goldstein and Brian Fagella – have been organizing their drive for months. The boys have posted flyers, been interviewed on the radio, reached out to local businesses and media and made endless trips to collection points.
“We made about 20 trips to the YWCA,” Greg said. “Sometimes we’d have to make several round trips to collect everything.”
“There were days that Diane Fox from GHS student activities made announcements, ‘Someone from the YES Club – we have an issue,” Romano said. “They needed someone to empty the bins. They kept filling up. Especially the collection bin outside Gus Lindine’s office.”
The boys reached out and connected with multiple non profits that work with children and could use the donated sports equipment.
“We’re bring the golf donations to a group called The First Tee. It’s a national organization with a New York Chapter,” Romano said. The First Tee uses the game of golf to improve lives of minority and under-privileged youth.
State Rep. Fred Camillo is helping us,” Romano said. “He’s going to help us find homes for some of the baseball items.”
Other receiving organizations include the Boys & Girls Club, who will receive footballs, soccer balls, cleats and hockey equipment. DOMUS Kids in Stamford will receive basketballs, sportswear and field hockey equipment. The Bridgeport Youth Lacrosse will receive all the lacrosse equipment. The YMCA will receive basketballs.
After several hours of hauling and counting all the equipment on Saturday morning, some of the tallies included: 129 golf balls, 46 golf clubs, about 100 baseballs and mitts, 57 tennis racquets, 32 baseball bats, 10 paddle tennis raquets, 29 pieces of wiffle ball equipment.
“Our goal was to collect 500 to 600 pieces of equipment and we’re already at 700,” Romano said. “We’re not even finished counting, and today is the third day of counting. We’ll probably hit 1,000 because people are still stopping by to drop things off.”
The three YES club leaders are still only sophomores, which means they’ll be running the sports equipment drive for two more years. If you didn’t weed out your sports equipment this time around, there will be future opportunities.