Clinton Minor Sports has kicked off a fundraising effort in hopes of expanding the organization.
Melissa Painter, president and founder of the group, has been collecting donations and will auction them off on Facebook’s 24 Hour Bidding Wars~47 Mile & Area every other week over the next few months.
She is also in the process of forming the Clinton Minor Sports Association, which will allow them to apply for grants and offer more opportunities for youth.
“We’re looking to grow and fundraise to bring in different activities,” Painter said. “I’ve got some sponsorships going on with the local businesses and some community members have donated certain items to be auctioned off online.”
Painter started the program last year to give Clinton’s youth something to do. She bought equipment using money from bottle recycling. She also welcomes personal donations to the organization.
The aim is to keep the cost affordable to parents, with activities usually costing $20 though this can vary depending on the activity and the instructor involved.
In the past year, the group has offered softball, soccer, street hockey, a spray day courtesy of the Clinton Volunteer Fire Department and a fun obstacle course. This year, she has already arranged for Kelly Mykyte, of the Krush Dance Company, to run a six-week dance program in the spring. The classes will be held in the Clinton Memorial Hall but Painter said the exact dates are still being “hammered out” as she works with the Village of Clinton to get either a discount or a free rental.
“We’re working on bringing a variety of different activities for the kids to try and I’ve had lots of support and openness to it,” she said.
While the minor program is geared to Clinton’s youth, Painter noted on days when turnout was down they saw some “really awesome parent participation.”
“I really just started it to get the kids out there and them busy,” she said. “I grew up here so the community is important to me, the kids’ mental health during COVID has been important. It’s grown very quickly lately which is very encouraging because it just means that it’s a needed program here.”
Anyone willing to donate to the organization is asked to contact Painter via her Facebook account.