Over 70 youth attend Christmas Camp to benefit Community
Dayton, TN — A local Christmas Camp was much about giving and learning. 71 youth, ages 5 to 8th grade, from several counties came together to learn basketball and give to the community. Roy Pankey, Kristy Hurst and RC3 teamed together to make Christmas just a little better for local families while providing excellent basketball Mentoring from Roy Pankey, Kristy Hurst and experienced staff.
This was the fourth year of the camp at RC3(YMCA). Coaches Roy Pankey and Kristy Hurst, along with former players and other volunteers held a three hour camp that ran players through several different stations, where they worked on different skills. The campers had fun, but the real fun came on Christmas Eve, when the presents brought found their way to some very excited kids. Toys were given out at the Taylor Hills Subdivision on Christmas Eve morning by Coach Pankey and even more volunteers. Great response by those in the community that had a chance to participate in the true spirit of Christmas. This was the 26th year of the give-a-way that began with Roy and members of his AAU basketball team.
Coach Pankey said, “It is great to combine two things that I love. I love to help people and love to teach basketball. It was a “no-brainer” for me.”
“We have been doing the toy drive for over 26 years and a few years ago I wanted to find a way to combine that cause with basketball and decided that campers could bring a toy instead of paying.”
“So many of my former basketball players that I worked with have come back over the years to help with the camp and with the toy distribution. I would guess that over 50 different former players have helped with the camp.”
“People doing stations were kids who played in my program, kids I trained and kids that have been around basketball and wanted to give back to game.”
Camp Counselor Melanie Barker played at Sequatchie County and then Lee University and Tennessee Wesleyan and last summer played professional basketball in Costa Rica.
Melanie said, “I love to work the camp because I know we help other people out. We take the toys on Christmas Eve and deliver them to the kids in the community. I get to help Roy on Christmas Eve and get to see the look on kids faces when they receive the toys.”
“Over the years, we have been out here in rain, snow, cold and sometimes even the heat, but not too often the heat.”
Hope Baker, former Rhea County High School basketball player and freshman on the Pensecola Christian basketball season was glad to be a first time counselor for the Christmas camp, said, “I have worked with Roy(Pankey) since my seventh grade year, and was glad to come and help out with the camp. I like to help little girls and boys learn how to play basketball.”