United, we can make this dream a reality

A day with kids from Imagine Rosefield

Sports Officials from the professional ranks, led by NBA Referees Billy Kennedy and Scott Twardoski and MLB Umpires Jim Reynolds and Alfonso Marquez, took time out to spend a day with kids from Imagine Rosefield, a charter school located in Surprise, Arizona. Retired MLB Umpire Gary Darling also participated in the day’s activities. 

“The message we were sending these sixth graders is that it’s our job to make things fair on the court and on the field,” Twardoski said. “These students can make the world fair by giving back, and that’s what we did as a group together.”

The sports officials shared lessons about sportsmanship, perseverance and giving back to the community with the students and then joined the students in loading trucks with donations for the Phoenix Rescue Mission. In all, three trucks were filled with donations! 

The Phoenix Rescue Mission is a non-profit organization that provides solutions for men, women and children trapped in the cycles of homelessness, addiction and poverty.

With the holiday season upon us, it was the perfect time to come together and make an impact oin the community. 

“Billy and I talked to the elementary school students about serving the game and being fair,” Scott added. The following week, Scott ran into one of the students who attended the event at a book fair. Almost verbatim, the student told her younger sister that same message. 

“It was just phenomenal,” Scott said. 

Scott also shared that there was a student who had not been engaged much with school activities this year, but following this event, there was “light in his eyes.” The message resonated with him and revealed how this event was much bigger than the food drive for the Phoenix Rescue Mission.

Twardoski and Kennedy also met with students at the Inspiration Mountain School, where students also collected donations.

Following the visit with the NBA officials, Jill Reichard, a Student Council Sponsor/5th grade teacher at Inspiration Mountain School, said, “we spoke about what we were doing and why it was so important, and I think it really touched our students and motivated them to make donations. I think it helped them understand that some people might not have those basic necessities.”

Thank you so much to everyone who participated in this fabulous event! Looking forward to participating in more of these events across the country.