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Foundation raises $4,000 for youth rec scholarships

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Foundation raises $4,000 for youth rec scholarships

Friends of Manteca Parks & Recreation Foundation President Kirk Menefee-Dall, front right, presents a check for $4,000 to Parks & Recreation Director Steve Houx. Foundation board members looking on...

DENNIS WYATT/The Bulletin/

POSTED February 17, 2009 4:14 a.m.
Frank Guinta knows what it is like growing up poor and not having the options that other kids may have.
That is why when he helped found the Manteca Cowboys youth football team in 1976 he and others worked overtime to raise funds so that no player had to pay fees to participate.
It is also why the long-time Manteca businessman joined forces with the Friends of the Manteca Parks & Recreation Foundation.
“I understand what it is like to grow up poor,” Guinta said. “It is important poor kids get an opportunity to participate in recreation programs.”
Guinta and other foundation board members such as president Kirk Dahl believe it is important that all youth in Manteca have the opportunity to participate in recreation programs from youth sports leagues to dance, acting, sewing, music, and other classes aimed at piquing interests and developing skills.
“It’s a great way to be able to help kids,” said Dahl who owns a home inspection business and is serving as the president of the Manteca Chamber of Commerce.
The foundation last week gave its first check to the city recreation department - $4,000 – to provide scholarships to those kids who qualify based on low-income guidelines for families.
The money was raised during the annual summer golf tournament dubbed “Swing for Kids” at the Manteca Golf Course. The next tournament is July 24.
Parks & Recreation Community Services Manager John Boore noted that the donation from the foundation would provide scholarships for up to 80 youth.
Parks & Recreation Director Steve Houx said the effort to provide recreation programs – whether it is through foundation scholarships or people paying to have their child participate – has a community benefit as well.
“Statistics show most juvenile crime happens from about 3 to 6 p.m. after school,” Houx said.
The foundation also hopes to access grants for recreation unavailable to public entities, create recreational projects beyond city funding, serve as a political advocate in supporting parks issues and bonds, plus serve various other objectives including building a stronger relationship between the city and the business community.
Former information, contact the Parks & Recreation Department at 239-8470.
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