DESTIN — As a mom of six, Ann Hadsall-Allen knows how expensive sports can be.
That's why she's hoping to help offset some of those costs by collecting donated sports equipment to share with students in the Destin, South Walton and Fort Walton Beach areas.
Hadsall-Allen got the idea to start Field Day Sports as she was going through her garage and noticed all of the sports equipment her kids have grown out of.
"I thought, 'There's got to be a purpose for these,' " said the Destin mom. "You sometimes see the kids who can't participate in sports because they don't have the equipment and that always bothered me. So I contacted the Boys & Girls Club of the Emerald Coast and asked if there was a need for gently used sporting goods and they said, 'Oh my gosh, yes.' It's the perfect solution."
With that idea, Hadsall-Allen started making racks to put out in front of participating stores. The donations have rolled in since then, everything from soccer balls, helmets, jump ropes and even a boogie board.
Once the racks are full, Hadsall-Allen will collect donations to bring to programs such as the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast.
On Friday and Saturday, June 15 and 16, Field Day Sports will host a donation and private auction yard sale to get more publicity and funds for the program. The sale will be held at The First Presbyterian Church at 154 Calhoun Ave. A collection rack will be there for folks to bring any sporting equipment items to drop off.
Hadsall-Allen said she's most excited about the project because it helps kids get more active. The grassroots organization also encourages people to connect with their community by giving back.
"Sports are a great way to get kids to participate in team building — it's a social activity," she said. "The whole goal is to get kids back outside."
To find out out more about Field Day Sports, visit facebook.com/fielddaysportsdonations.
You can donate your gently used sports equipment at these locations:
Planet Fitness at Santa Rosa Mall
300 Mary Esther Blvd., Mary Esther
Christian Life Center First Baptist Church
21 First St., Fort Walton Beach
Publix Super Market
251 Miracle Strip Parkway S.E., Fort Walton Beach
Destin Community Center
101 Stahlman Ave., Destin
Destin Health and Fitness
4471 Commons Drive W., Destin
Publix Super Market at Paradise Key
4425 Commons Drive E., Destin
Publix Super Market at Grand Boulevard
725 Grand Blvd., Sandestin