Lion’s Club donates to Coalton youth basketball league

COALTON – A donation given to the Coalton Youth Basketball League from the Roaring Creek Lion’s Club is a slam dunk, officials said.

The club made a donation of $200 to the youth basketball league, which serves all Coalton Elementary School students, from pre-school through fifth grade.

Lion’s Club representative Jeff Ricottilli said club members do their part to support everything they can.

“We are small with a pretty small list of members and the school is one of the bigger needs in the community to channel the money back into the community,” Ricottilli said. “Basically the people whose kids go to that school are the ones that buy tickets to our raffles and come to our cake walks, and we try to put the money back.”

Coalton Elementary School’s principal, Amy Rowan Smith, said the Lion’s Club has always been a great supporter of the school, including giving a $500 donation to the Parent Teacher Association in the fall that was used for playground upgrades.

“Their $200 donation to the Coalton Youth Basketball League this season has helped defray the cost of several upgrades, including the purchase of additional uniforms, decals for our team bench and supplies for our 5th grade recognition ceremony,” Rowan-Smith said.

Both Ricottilli and Rowan-Smith said the basketball league is an asset to not only the children but the families in the area.

Ricottilli said, “It gives them (kids) something to do that is not a video game and gives them a chance to meet the other kids in their county that they will soon be going to school with and I think it gives the school a sense of presence because people see things going on and come to a couple games and it gives the community a chance to socialize.”

Rowan-Smith added, “As we are located in such a rural area, there are very few organized after-school activities for the children who attend Coalton Elementary School. Thus, the basketball league is greatly valued by out students, their families and the community at large.”

The primary program is for students in pre-school through second grade and serves as a stepping stone to the intermediate league that is designed for students in third through fifth grade.

The intermediate teams participate in the Cheat Mountain Basketball League and travel throughout the county playing against other elementary school teams. The teams play approximately 16 games during the regular season, which runs from January through March.

Ricottilli added that over the years the club has had a lot of help from area churches and the fire department due to the small knit nature of the community.

“As a rural school with limited resources, their (Lion’s Club) support in invaluable,” Rowan-Smith said.