SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) — On a November night in Springfield, a non-profit that helps local youth through sports held its annual fundraising event: The Springfield Ballers Gala.

Over 200 people came to the Gala Saturday evening, all of them hoping to help out so that this non-profit can keep up their work.

The Springfield Ballers are an organization that provides affordable opportunities to youth in athletics. Their goal is to create a complete and well-rounded student-athlete, but it wouldn’t be possible without the support from fundraising events like the annual gala they held Saturday night.

The CEO of the Springfield Ballers, James Gee told 22News that the event isn’t just about raising money though, “To allow people to know what we’re doing within the community for sports and activities, and we wanna raise money for our purpose and cause, so that we can create affordable opportunities and sports for youth.”

Nearly two decades ago Springfield Ballers began as one girls’ basketball team, now there’s boys’ basketball and other sports that aren’t as common in urban areas such as lacrosse and golf.

And, that’s not all the work they’re doing.

Over the last two years, the non-profit has provided over $20,000 in scholarships. The Ballers continue to offer youth and families in the low-income, greater Springfield area and surrounding communities affordable sports opportunities, because they say playing sports promotes academic achievement, and overall health and wellness.

“With what we teach, it’s more about the basketball or softball, or whatever it may be, but it’s also the life skills that we teach. And we focus on character. We focus on those things so whatever community you’re in, be a good person,” expressed Michael Anderson, the Vice President of the Springfield Ballers.

Now there’s another year to look forward to, from the non-profit that helps young people get in the game. Right now the Springfield Ballers services over 1000 local kids, and they hope the money raised on Saturday makes that an even bigger number.

Local News

Heath Kalb is a reporter who has been a part of the 22News team since 2022. Follow Heath on X @HeathKalb and view his bio to see more of his work.