Scoring one for the kids

By Sherry Matthews Editor

March 13, 2014

Sampson County has become home to Donnie Lamm, and giving back to a community he loves and shares ownership in is something he said he feels blessed to do.

That’s why when Raymond Spell, director of Sampson County’s Parks and Recreation Department, approached him about helping out young athletes in the program, Lamm jumped at the chance to help.

The help comes in the form of hundreds of athletic shirts spanning all sports that Nissan of Clinton, of which Lamm is owner and general manager, has agreed to purchase for the over 2,500 young athletes that participate in everything from baseball and softball to volleyball, basketball and football.

“It’s an absolutely tremendous gift,” Spell attested, a smile spreading across his face. “It helps out our young people and it helps our department, allowing us to utilize our resources to help the kids in other ways. In the times we live in, with our budget not like it used to be, every dollar counts. And this counts a whole lot.”

Shirts will soon be purchased and youngsters will be able to start wearing them in just a few short weeks as the baseball/softball season gets under way in the county.

Youngsters ages 5 to 15 will benefit from Lamm and Nissan’s gift.

“It makes me feel good that we are able to do this,” the Nissan owner said. “For some kids, buying a shirt might not be that big a deal, but for others it’s hard to afford. I hope what we are doing will make an impact,” Lamm said.

Spell nods in the affirmative, confirming Lamm’s hope. “It will certainly make a positive difference, and we are very, very appreciative.”

Lamm said Spell approached him back in January with the idea of buying the shirts, and knowing how many youngsters it would touch was just the catalyst he needed to get on board with the project.

“When I started thinking about all these kids I’ve watched grow up,many that have come here to buy their cars, kids who now have children of their own, I wanted to be a part. We’ve always been big supporters of this community and I thought this was a special project, something that would touch a lot of folks in one way or another,” Lamm said.

“It’s just great to be able to give back,” he added.

Spell said the jerseys are a point of pride for the young athletes, many who wear them not only during games but also at school and on weekends.

“They love them. It makes them feel part of something, and that’s special,” the rec director stressed. And, he said, it shows youngsters, their parents and the community how supportive businesses in the area are, reaching out to help whenever and wherever they can.

“We are fortunate in Sampson that we have so many supportive businesses, and we thank Donnie and Nissan of Clinton for their gift,” Spell said.