The West Genesee School District gets some help from a Hollywood star. Actor Alec Baldwin returned to help Save modified sports, one day after he supported anti-hydrofracking efforts in Syracuse. Our Iris St. Meran tells us about his visit.
CAMILLUS, N.Y. -- The community within the West Genesee School District walked, ran and even played some wiffle ball Sunday. Their athleticism should come as no surprise because they're passionate about modified sports.
Lacrosse coach and parent Bob Elmer said, "Modified sports are so important to not only the kids, but the community. It gets kids involved, they get interested, make friendships. Modified sports are great for the school district."
The district has the same budget challenges as others. The sports program has to raise $75,000 on its own to keep the program going, otherwise 300 students would be out of the program.
"They give us a chance to be active and to play," said Clare Leo, a seventh grade student.
West Genesee Modified Sports Boosters President John Petosa said, "We think the lessons sports teach our kids, the self-esteem they gain from being able to participate in those activities, is almost as important as their education."
To help them reach their goal they hosted the first annual Walk-Run. Actor Alec Baldwin stopped by to show support, adding some star power to the event. His sister Jane has children who participate in the program.
Baldwin said, "Communities that take action themselves, they take the bull by the horns themselves and form these private, these quasi-private not-for-profits, that's the way to go. But don't sit back and wait for the government to change things. You go ahead and do it."
Last year, he donated $25,000 to save modified sports.
"I think it's really cool that he's trying to help us," said seventh grader Bonnie Cahill.
With a little help from him and the rest of their community, they are on track to keeping modified sports for another year.