FOUR OAKS— For the seventh year in a row, the South Johnston High School baseball time was deeply involved in community service during the holiday season.
According to head coach Keith Durham, returning and prospective baseball players at South Johnston participated in a service project benefitting the United States Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program.
The baseball team raffled off a $100 Wal-Mart gift card, with 100% of the proceeds going to Toys for Tots. The baseball program at South Johnston got no money from this project, but the players involved reaped plenty of benefits. The players raised $3,027 in ticket sales.
A Four Oaks woman won the drawing for this year’s gift card, and chose to give it anonymously to a local family in need.
Before Christmas, members of the team travelled to Wal-Mart in Smithfield where the players actually did the shopping for the toys. The Trojan baseball teams wound up purchasing 538 toys valued at $3,037.36 that brightened Christmas morning for many children.
The Marine Corps Reserve had representatives on site during the shopping to receive the toys for Toys for Tots and get them headed to the hands of children on Christmas morning. The Marine representatives presented a certificate to head coach Durham recognizing Trojan baseball's continued support of the Toys for Tots program.
Coach Durham noted, "It was a wonderful experience for everyone involved, and it was great to see our young people working so hard for a worthy cause with no thought of reward. It is our hope that this project will help make the Holidays a little bit brighter for some children that might not have had much to look forward to on Christmas morning.
"One of the goals of the South Johnston Athletic Department is to help our student-athletes see the community and world around them, and to help them to understand that they have a responsibility to be a positive force in the lives of other people."
Over the past seven years, the Trojan baseball program has raised over $21,000 to buy more than 3,000 toys to help make Christmas a more joyous time of year for less fortunate children.
Congratulations to the South Johnston baseball program and our thanks to the school for providing this information.