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The Frederick Douglass Community Association slam-dunked on Sunday when it won funding from Toledo SOUP for its late-night basketball program.
Decked out in colorful plastic leis, adults at the Summer Luau contributed $5 and children $1, totaling $734.
Based on groups in Detroit and other cities, Toledo SOUP has organized microgrant events since 2012. Sunday’s was its fifth.
“We want to revitalize the community from the ground up,” Eric Britton, one of the group’s founders, said. “[Here] the community gets to know itself.”
Judges narrowed down the submitted projects in the weeks prior, and attendees cast the deciding votes at the Madison Avenue Collective.
With 64 of 81 votes, FDCA beat out a proposal to publish a children’s picture book on cancer by the Cancer Connection of Northwest Ohio, and another to purchase art supplies for children at the East Side Art Studio.
The association serves about 120 players between the ages of 16 and 28 on Fridays and Saturday from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. during each eight-week summer session. Friends and family pay $3 to watch the games, packing the gym with up to 250 each night, according to Teneashia Cunningham, the director of the basketball program.
The coordinators are in the process of reapplying for city funds to help raise $12,000 for the session starting July 11, but they are still far from meeting their goal. The community grant will help cover the cost of basketball, first-aid kits, and security.
“It gets me out of the streets,” said Montrese Marshall, who has participated in the late-night games since they were started in 2012. “I don’t want to be in a cross-fire.”
Contact Maya Averbuch at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-724-6522, or on Twitter @mayaaverbuch.