Panola County Chamber of Commerce hosts youth sports equipment drive

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) – The Panola County Chamber of Commerce has become host to the Spring Youth Sports Closet event.

From fees, to equipment and uniforms, playing youth sports can cost parents a lot of money, making it a struggle to pay for everything needed to play sports

Multiple other groups in Panola County have come together to try and give the youth who may not be able to afford equipment the ability to go out and play the sports they love.

“Every person we have asked to get involved in this, it has been yes. I would say that is one of the most rewarding things you can do in your career is to get people involved in a local initiative that turns around and locally benefits our kids. Because we want to see them turn around and keep their talent here in Panola County. If they feel that support behind them, we know that they are eventually one day going to remember that.” said Keri Perot Vance, the executive director of the Panola County Chamber of Commerce.

One of the groups involved is the Carthage Service League, which runs as thrift shop just down the road from the Chamber of Commerce. When the event first started, the pairing was a no-brainer.

“When we heard about what Keri was doing with the Chamber, and the sports closet, we realized that we had donations that were being given to us, that we could partner with them and contribute those items and they would be here at a common place. Where when the kids had a need, they would be able to come in and access those items.” said Janet Humber, the President of Carthage Service League

The group hopes to continue providing a place for kids to come and get their sporting equipment needs. They hope other counties will help provide the same opportunities.

“We want to help the entire Panola County, not just Carthage but anyone that lives in Panola County. Hopefully it spreads around to other counties, that they will want to do the same,” said Sharon Roberson-Jones, the executive director for the group Excellent Teen Choice

The group accepts donations year ‘round, and open the closet when major sports seasons begin. The spring event will end on May 24. Those looking to donate or pick up youth baseball or softball equipment can visit or contact the Panola County Chamber of Commerce in Carthage

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