FORSYTH COUNTY -- Local softball teams traded the field for lunches last week and stopped competing to come together for a good cause.
About 200 players and coaches from 16 fast pitch softball teams met Dec. 12 at the Old Atlanta Rec Center to pack 1,600 lunches for those in need of a meal this holiday season.
“Georgia Mountain Food Bank comes out, and they distribute the lunches to churches, Jesse’s House, No Longer Bound, areas of the county that have a need for meals to be delivered, etc.,” said Danny Traynor, and organizer of the annual event.
Traynor said the event, which is held on the second Saturday of each December, resulted in about 1,000 lunches in 2014.
This year, each team bought enough food to make 100 meals, met at the rec center and assembled the lunch sacks.
“It’s just gotten bigger and bigger,” he said.
Participants included girls on 10u through 16u teams from across northeast Georgia.
Traynor, who has three girls of his own, said he started the food drive and lunch-packing event to teach his family to help others.
Sponsors attended to donate giveaways, softballs and stickers for the sacks.
“Everybody’s giving a little bit,” he said, “and in the end it’s a really cool thing.”
Megan Wiggins, a professional softball player in Japan who graduated from the University of Georgia, showed up to help out and sign autographs.
Representatives from the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office attended to be able to provide a positive interaction with participants, Traynor said.
“It’s good for these teams because when the girls join the team, there are a lot of life lessons involved in being on a team,” Traynor said.
“They win together and they lose together. But it’s also good to do community service. And this. You just want them to realize you need to help each other.”
For more information, visit the event’s Twitter handle at @fp_fooddrive or email firstname.lastname@example.org.