The American Heart Association and ABB donate to Boys and Girls Club
by Philip James Maenza III - Editor of The News Journal
Each year in Florence the Pee Dee Heart Ball is held in alliance with The American Heart Association and The American Stroke Association. The Heart Ball is a celebration of the donors, volunteers, and the hard work of the local association to support the fight against heart disease and strokes. The Pee Dee Heart Ball brings community and business members together to raise funds for the local area to promote life saving research and prevention programs.
This year the Pee Dee Heart Ball was held in March at the SiMT building at Florence-Darlington Technical College. As part of this year’s Pee Dee Heart Ball the local American Heart Association wanted to do something specific for the community of Florence involving children and heart health. According to Crystal Kirkland, Director of Development at American Heart Association, as a part of this year’s Pee Dee Heart Ball they asked attendees to bring with them a ball to donate.
Kirkland stated that children should have roughly 60 minutes of activity outside every day in order to contribute to a healthy lifestyle. Kirkland wanted to be able to promote this by asking guests of the Heart Ball to donate a ball as part of attending.
A regular contributor to the annual Heart Ball is the company ABB of Florence.
Shawn Shockey is the Operations Manager of ABB in Florence. His organization has sponsored the Heart Ball every year and is very much involved.
Shockey mentioned how much he liked the idea of donating balls at the Heart Ball. He commented how often times donations to the Heart Ball go to research so he really enjoyed the idea of donating balls as an extra bonus to promote the good work done by The American Heart Association and to help children within the Florence community.
ABB donated roughly half of all the balls that were given to the Boys and Girls Club of Florence. Shockey commented on how it felt good to give back to the local community. He stated that he hopes to do something similar next year with another local organization in the Florence area.
Justin Newton has been with the Boys and Girls Club in Florence for nine years. He is the Program Director of Florence. Newton expressed his gratitude towards ABB, The American Heart Association, and the attendees at the Pee Dee Heart Ball for their contributions to the Boys and Girls Club.
Newton explained that roughly anywhere from 100-200 kids play with the equipment daily. Due to the heavy usage the Boys and Girls Club is regularly needing to buy new balls for the children to play with.
Through all the donations there were roughly 250 balls for all different types of sports given to the Boys and Girls Club. Newton says this is tremendously helpful to have this much of an increase in equipment.