Another year just like that...
Before proceeding forward with what should be another exciting year of giving back at Ballin 4 Peace, we wrap up an unforgettable 2021 that was filled with a number of community outreach events despite the on-going Coronavirus pandemic in our communities. We saw our impact felt immensely throughout neighborhoods in Queens, New York with Ballin 4 Peace and Founder Haron Hargrave named to Queens Borough President Donovan Richards’ 130-person transition team.
The task at hand: strengthen the bond between communities and sports as a way to promote peace throughout Queens and beyond.
For everyone at Ballin 4 Peace, helping people stay both protected and informed during the world health emergency was at the top of list. That’s why we not only started carrying customized facemasks as part of our exclusive Ballin 4 Peace apparel line, but we also were able to donate masks from our online purchases to begin 2021. We also returned for a second season of The Mission – our social media program on Instagram that featured a number of community leaders, influencers, athletes, authors, and entertainers going one-on-one with Ballin 4 Peace. Thanks to all of our guests, the message of promoting peace through sports was far reaching. From celebrating Women’s History Month in March by hosting our first ever all-women’s panel titled, Celebrating Our Wins, to taking part in the Pain, Purpose, and Power Conference in New Jersey, and supporting Mental Health Month in May through sales of our custom-made tee-shirts, Ballin 4 Peace is proud to advocate and educate people on these important topics.
The summer months saw Ballin 4 Peace roll out the annual Ballin 4 Peace Scholarship Program in hopes of impacting the life of a college bound High School Senior and alleviating some of their financial burdens as they further their education. The Ballin 4 Peace Scholarship Program provides financial aid and one-time monetary support open to High School Senior students in Queens, New York and within the Tri-State area who are preparing for college and are in need of financial support.
Another first for Ballin 4 Peace: hosting its first ever Celebrity Charity Softball Game between the Ballin 4 Peace All-Stars and the NYPD’s Finest at Macombs Dam Park and Elston Howard Field across from the new Yankee Stadium in late July. Not only did the star-studded event go to support the Ballin 4 Peace Scholarship Program, but also to benefit Pearl Baseball & Softball Foundation in Jinja, Uganda, as the foundation empowers young baseball and softball players in Africa. Equipment donations were also gathered and sent to the Pearl Baseball & Softball Foundation to help give back and provide a new generation of young baseball players and softball players in Uganda with the tools to succeed on the field.
In October, Ballin 4 Peace was back on the court in Queens at the annual Queens Week to commemorate another year of community service with an action packed basketball tournament at 150th Street Park and the chance to spread the word about promoting peace through sports in our communities.
We are also extremely proud of our on-going work within education at Ballin 4 Peace, as we led afterschool enrichment programs at the Mosholu Montefiore Community Center (MMCC). Not only was the enrichment program designed to develop skills in Youth Violence Prevention and Positive Youth Development, but also focused on the Fundamentals of Sports, and Circuit and Conditioning Training.
Ballin 4 Peace closed out an unforgettable 2021 in grand fashion by hosting its first-ever High School Holiday Classic at Springfield Gardens High School in Queens, New York.
It was a chance to pause and reflect during the holiday season as 10 high school varsity boys basketball teams –West End High School, Van Buren High School, Scholars Academy High School, Graphic Arts High School, John Adams High School, George Washington High School, Cardozo High School, Gompers High School, Erasmus Hall High School and Springfield High School – took to the hardwood to compete and honor Mark Arrington, who lost his life during a senseless act of violence in Hollis Queens back in 2007.
It was the perfect way to finish out 2021 while we look ahead to a healthy, happy, and prosperous 2022.Thanks to your support, Ballin 4 Peace remains committed to our mission of strengthening our communities and promoting peace through sports all year round. To make a tax-deductible donation to Ballin 4 Peace, visit our official website or contact us directly to get involved in making a difference!