CROTON-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – Croton Harmon High School athletes received sports bags and towels recently as part of an initiative to keep students active and healthy, according to a statement from the Croton Community Coalition.
Developed this past summer, the initiative also provided giant orange foam hands and souvenir cups with the Coalition’s logo to fans enjoying football and other games during Homecoming Week, according to the Coalition.
“Our visibility at all the sporting events made the Coalition come alive for the student athletes and their fans,” said Laurie Dean, Croton Community Coalition coordinator and chairwoman. “We wanted all the fall sports athletes to know the Croton Community Coalition encourages and supports a healthy lifestyle. Staying engaged and having a passion for sports is one way to help teens avoid drugs and alcohol.”
Dean said varsity and junior varsity athletes received the bags and towels regardless of whether their games were played home or away during Homecoming Week. The initiative was organized and executed by Coalition volunteers from the community and the Croton Harmon Teen Leadership Council, she said.
Jazmin Emmitt, a cheerleader and a member of the Teen Leadership Council, said the foam hands she gave out at the sporting events were a big hit.
“We got a very positive reaction handing out the foam hands,” she said. “Everyone wanted more than one! It was so much fun to see everyone so excited to be a part of Croton.”
Noting that student athletes often serve as an example for others, Thomas Cunningham, director of Health, Physical Education, Athletics and Wellness for the school district, said the Coalition’s efforts were primarily aimed at keeping all students drug-free.
He said he enjoyed working with the Coalition to help students learn about making good decisions.
“The Coalition is a great resource for us and I am looking forward to partnering with the Coalition again in the future,” said Cunningham, who along with Dean, designed the initiative.
Senior Rory Parker, who is recovering from a sports injury, attended the Homecoming football game and said he’s trying to follow Cunningham's advice.
“I am a three-sport athlete recovering from a torn ACL,” he said, “so I am going to physical therapy, eating well, and staying away from drugs, so I can have a stronger comeback, and be better than I was before (my injury).”