Community shows support during Field Day – The Suffolk News-Herald
The second annual ForKid Field Day was a success as the town came to support the families of Western Tidewater.
Last year, ForKids revamped its small golf tournament for 17 teams of four into a multi-event day to raise money to fight homelessness at Western Tidewater.
The day started with 80 walkers who walked two miles around Cedar Point Country Club. After the walk, the pickleball and tennis teams took to the court to play. The afternoon ended with a round of golf on the 18 holes of the country club. New for the day was a Par 3 competition for experienced and inexperienced players.
“People are ready to go out, and it’s a great event for a lot of different people to come together outside and distance themselves,” said Thaler McCormick, CEO of ForKids. “The exciting part today is the community rallying for Suffolk and Western Tidewater.”
ForKids’ mission is to break the cycle of homelessness for families and children. Each year, the organization helps more than 70,000 people in 14 towns and counties in Southeast Virginia.
At the Suffolk site, the education center is there to help children who have fallen behind in school due to their lack of stable housing. Other services include emergency shelter assistance, a hotline, supportive housing and employment services. Last year, 91% of families moved out to appropriate housing and 92% of children moved up.
“It’s a great way to market Western Tidewater,” said Becky Pinkard, External Relations Manager at ForKids. “We’ve been in Suffolk since 2008, and nobody knew that. It’s a great way to let the community know that we’re here and what we’re doing.
In 2020, due to the pandemic, numbers were low as only 50 people could attend each event with around three volunteers. However, the event raised a total of $ 75,000. This year the day registered 196 people with 30 volunteers who raised approximately $ 95,000.
Field Day for Kids had many generous sponsors, including its main sponsor, the Louis and Mary Haddad Foundation. Other sponsors included PRA Group, Birdsong Peanuts, Wanda and Les Hall, Jones Brothers Security and Breeden.
“ForKids is a very effective organization helping people to stop homeless,” said Mary Haddad, President of the Louis and Mary Haddad Foundation. “As they say, it’s a helping hand, not a handout. We have supported ForKids for years and will continue to do so. We are so happy to be here.
Suffolk Mayor Mike Duman and Nansemond Borough Councilor Lue Ward visited the event. Duman made a brief remark at the start of the shotgun golf competition, thanking participants for their support of this organization which greatly serves Suffolk.
“Often the city and the government cannot be everyone’s answer for everything,” said Duman. “It takes a group effort to be able to address the concerns of all of our citizens across the entire 430 square miles.”
With the support of its community, ForKids can continue to serve families facing homelessness as the effects of the pandemic still affect many people today.