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      Donors step up to help youth sports program

      Albany students line up for breakfast before starting the first day of the National Youth Sports Program.

      Several contributors are stepping up to provide financial support for a summer program on Albany State University TMs campus according to a press release issued by the university.When Coach Robert Skinner TMs proposal to fund the National Youth Sports Program was turned down by Albany City Commissioners, the camp organizer appealed to civic organizations such as the American Legion, churches, private donors and business owners. Their generous support has kept the doors of the NYSP program open for the 38th consecutive year. On Wednesday, June 12 at 10:30 a.m. members of the Elks Club will present a check in the amount of $2,000 to pay for each camper TMs tee shirt.On opening day, the camp hosted over 350 children, ages 9 -15. They patiently lined up for breakfast at the ASU Student Center before beginning a full day of activities. Each hour, Monday to Friday, between 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., they participate in classes such as basketball, tennis, swimming, math and science. Lunch is served at 1:30 p.m. So far 425 students were enrolled by the end of the registration period. Albany residents see what we are doing to keep children engaged in quality activities, out of harm TMs way while their parents work. We TMre thankful to everyone who has donated toward our mission to exercise kids TM bodies and minds, said Skinner, who also coaches women TMs basketball, softball, and volleyball at ASU.A lack of federal funding caused the NYSP organizer to charge a $100 camp fee last year. As a result, enrollment dropped to below 230. Skinner was determined to provide services for free by raising $60,000 to pay for field trips, program equipment and staff salaries. So far, nearly $40,000 has been collected. I can TMt say enough about the generosity of Albany residents who kept this much needed summer institution operating. I am confident that we TMll reach the fundraising goal and provide the services that community children need and deserve, added the coach. The program concludes on July 3.