York: SUPPORT to RE-OPEN York Township Basketball Open Gym!
Dear York Friends,
My father Mike McPherson received news that
the York Township Recreation Department has decided to SHUT DOWN the basketball
pick-up program this year after my Dad took responsibility of leading it
since 1981.... LET ME REPEAT THAT, 1981! This 2016-2017 "season" would
mark 35 YEARS that the YT Recreation Department has provided the space for ages 18+ to ease their stress and display their competitive
spirit among peers on the court. Aside from the occasional, non-violent disagreement over a "call", everyone has a great time, jokes around and uses this space as a release or
temporary "safe haven" from their troubles and seasonal depressions.
This program is very much a part of my Dad's life, and he still enjoys playing and interacting with those who attend. As my dad ages, it brings forth his youthful spirit, all while the younger people look up to him regarding his skills, intellect, and consistency as a staple within the York basketball community for over 3 decades.
We've played at Ore Valley Elementary, York Tech and Dallastown Elementary's gym just to name a few spots over the years. As I am 30 years old, I literally grew up with this program, both watching and playing (as the only girl/woman most of the time). Basketball is a key ingredient of why my dad and I are so close - I frankly don't know many daddy/daughter duos like us! This is a powerful memory, a vivid piece of me and more importantly my father.
Over the years, the price of the Open Gym increased -- last year, everyone paid $4 to play, and Friday and Sunday nights were the most popular. The majority in attendance weren't from the actual Township, but they flocked from the city and various suburbs -- some would forage their cars for coins JUST so they could play that night because they saw the value in it
We need your help! This is SO much more than just an “Open Gym” for many people… you never know what trial or tribulation your neighbor is experiencing today, and I know that this opportunity successfully provided stressed players an outlet to channel negative feelings. This is definitely a worth cause for which to contend this decision -- adults need healthy places for acceptance and judgment-free zones that support a common mission. I'm ASKING FOR SUPPORT to hopefully alter this situation with even 1 or 2 days of Open Gym.
This has always been an athletic 'place of refuge' REGARDLESS of talent, color, creed, sexual orientation, or class! Players united together in the spirit of the game they all love. The solution is not to just terminate this opportunity for physical and mental stability, growth and/or decompression… there has to be a creative compromise that works for everyone! I really would love other ball players to express their disappointment with this decision through personal impact!
The York Township Recreation Basketball Open-Gym program transcends the bounds of the Township in its ability to unify the York Community holistically. With the news stories of violence in York this year alone, we must be proactive in our efforts towards bridging the divide and extending compassion towards all York residents through the successful maintenance of affordable adult sports. Collaboration is key -- schools/colleges, churches, businesses -- as WE ARE CALLED TO ACT AS BEACONS OF PEACE AND LIGHT TO BETTER THIS COMMUNITY (opposed to a single Township)!
PLEASE SIGN AND SHARE!!
~ Shannon McPherson