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Let’s kick off today’s newsletter with a little shout-out to the local baseball and softball communities in the Mount Kisco/Bedford area. Organizers joined forces to schedule a joint clinic for this coming Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m. at Fox Lane High School.
While it might not sound like a Herculean task to the uninitiated, anyone who has lived for a minute inside the world of local suburban youth athletics knows the complications that can often arise when trying to marshal forces from multiple groups.
There are frequent power struggles between and within various fiefdoms that stand in the way of progress, with well-intentioned leaders sometimes seeking credit and self-interest instead of the greater good.
And given some of the recent conversation inside the Bedford Central School District about baseball and softball equity, the successful execution of a joint clinic serves as a significant symbol and concrete manifestation of what cooperation can achieve.
“Fox Lane baseball has had so much recent success as a baseball power in Northern Westchester, we hope this can help bring it to the next level in the future. And for softball, to lift to that same perch,” said Ken Diorio, co-president of the Fox Lane Baseball Boosters. (Full disclosure: Ken is a friend).
The baseball boosters coordinated with the community’s baseball and softball youth recreation leagues to deliver coaching at the clinic this coming Saturday from Fox Lane’s varsity coaches — baseball’s Matthew Hillis and softball’s Toni-Ann Licata.
Along with varsity players from baseball and softball, local rec league players will receive instruction. More than 100 youth athletes have registered.
The most powerful component of the effort is how it’s intended as an annual event. In all likelihood, the clinic and the spirit behind it will just become part of the community’s culture. A few years from now, many students and parents in the area will more than likely just assume teamwork between the girls’ and boys’ groups is just baked into the youth sports cake. Because it will be.
It’s what equity injected inside of our local institutions looks like, brought about by grassroots advocacy and ambitious organizing.
Kudos to all involved for keeping their eyes on the ball — harnessing a supportive atmosphere and constructive culture for local student-athletes.
There are so many incredible organizations doing meaningful and interesting work in the area you could write a book every week on what various groups are achieving in the local world. Instead, we wrote a couple of articles.
Examiner Editor-in-Chief Martin Wilbur published a piece about the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity. Last week, Habitat launched a new program designed to help make improvements to the homes of eligible Westchester seniors.
The idea is allow more older residents to remain in their homes.
The Aging in Place program was created to make low-cost but high-impact upgrades such as installing grab bars, handrails and raised toilet seats, converting a conventional bathtub into a walk-in shower, and modifications to reduce the likelihood of falls, among other improvements.
“This was a need and a skill set that we have and a population that definitely needs to be served, and we’re happy to participate and partner with the folks in the area,” Christopher Illum, the chief program officer and executive vice president for Habitat for Humanity in New York City and Westchester, told Martin.
Check out the piece right here.
Meanwhile, digital editor Robert Schork writes about a new youth initiative from the Westchester Chamber Music Society where select local teens now have the opportunity to display their musical talents alongside world-famous classical musicians.
“The goal of the Youth Initiative is to give young students who study chamber music an opportunity to perform in front of a highly knowledgeable and supportive audience while simultaneously having the opportunity to interact with some of the top professionals in chamber music,” explained Peter Aupperle, president of the Westchester Chamber Music Society.
Here’s Robert’s feature.
As for me, I’m banging away at a column for next week’s Stone’s Throw column about the monumental challenges local independent pharmacists face just to stay alive, and some looming policy that could help them or hurt them, depending on which way it goes.
Stay tuned for that one, and have an engaging day!