August 02, 2014
The Artie Johnson tennis camp and Rally4Hunger is still going strong on the shores of Eleuthera. This week, Coach Albert McKinney, Dwight Stuart and professional tennis player Stacey Smith joined Coach Artie Johnson on his mission to help feed families who are less fortunate on the Family Islands. They distributed 33 packages to Wemyss Bight and dropped of 10 additional packages at Rock Sound Social Services.
"We spent three days in Harbour Island and had an amazing turnout with the children," said Coach Johnson.
He said about 58 children attended the first annual Rally4Hunger Tennis Camp that was held at Pink Sands Tennis Courts.
"After the children rallied, we totaled the points and delivered 85 bags containing six to seven non-perishable items to the surrounding community senior citizens and other families in need," said Smith.
Sponsors for this event were Coral Sands, Pink Sands, Tingum Village, Tracy Posner, Paolo Di Chiara, Captain Bob and locals who gave water and juice.
Although this is the 15th official summer camp, Johnson has been teaching children about tennis for more than 20 years, with the majority of the things that he has done for the community coming out of his own pocket.
This is the first time that the camp has been blended with a food drive, termed "Rally4Hunger".
The mission of Rally4Hunger is to create a fun tennis experience while simultaneously helping to fight hunger through the staging of tennis rallies. The players rally with a partner and count the number of consecutive balls hit, and then Rally4Hunger and other sponsors with non-perishable food items match the total number.
So far the group has delivered food to people from James Cistern, Hatchet Bay and Gregory Town, Savannah Sound and Governor's Harbour.
Johnson has acknowledged the fact that he would want to see the camp grow even larger, and hopes to get more sponsors on board for next year's version of the camp. He also suggested that he would like to start up a camp in New Providence in the future.
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