When Oakdale Parks and Recreation Supervisor Linda Royalty approached the Wednesday morning Downtown Merchants Meeting asking for sponsors for disadvantaged youth, Oakdale residents Frank Clark and Farrell Jackson knew they needed to step up.
After making contacts with those they knew could deliver, Clark and Jackson at the Sept. 4 Oakdale City Council meeting presented Royalty with checks totaling over the needed $750 she had solicited.
“This is a much needed program,” said Jackson when making the donation at the meeting. “It could make the difference between a life toward sports or to becoming a gang member.”
Royalty said $75 “scholarships” can cover a low income youth in recreation classes and programs with the city. She had 10 registrations for the programs and sought out those wishing to sponsor.
“It was fantastic that the community stepped up,” Royalty said. “We continue to have applications come in. There’s always more.”
Royalty said the scholarship and sponsorship process has only been around for one year.
Clark said he had made a commitment to Royalty after the morning meeting to help out and was later contacted by Jackson to team up.
The duo made calls seeking donations and easily came up with the needed funds.
“That’s the great thing about Oakdale,” said Jackson. “People here will step up. We need to do these things for the community.”
Jackson added that after the council meeting he had others approach him stating they could have been contacted for a contribution also.
Both Clark and Jackson were very complimentary to Royalty for her efforts in the program and coming to the merchants meeting.
“You have to pat Linda on the back for soliciting the funds,” Clark said. “She deserves the credit for making it happen.”
Those still wishing to contribute to the scholarships for disadvantaged youth or the Oakdale Parks and Recreation Department can contact Linda Royalty at 450 East A St. or at (209) 845-2895.