Hoopsters raise money for troops

Joe Meade, Northeast Regional College Scout for the NBA's Utah Jazz, recently hosted Hoops for the Troops Basketball Clinic at the Parsons Gym.

Meade is a professor in the sport management department at Post University in Waterbury, and a former high school and college basketball coach.  He is also the director of Hoopskills Basketball Instruction.

Participants were asked to bring a donation of dried foods or toiletries that will be sent to soldiers serving overseas.  The event attracted about 40 hoopsters age 7-18 who participated in skill drills and contests for fun and prizes.  The kids also took time out to write thank you letters to the soldiers as part of the program.

The event was sponsored by Modell's, which supplied Meade with gifts and discount coupons for all the participants.  Ron Bartone, owner of City Stitchers, donated 20 hoops for the Troops T-shirts and many of Meade's coaching friends donated gear from their respective schools. The Utah Jazz complimented the array of prizes with headbands, hats, team calendars, bags and folders.

The event organizers collected three large boxes of donations and $125 in cash.  Soldier Socks, a local not for profit organization, has agreed to help ship the donations overseas directly to the troops.

“I am amazed by the generosity and willingness of the people of Milford and the surrounding towns, who stepped up to lend a hand,” Meade said. “It is my hope that we can do this every year and watch it get bigger and even better.”