6/14/19 Honda takes a swing at solving Turrentine ballfield issues

Summer service

Kim Dawson, Benji Moore and fellow Honda Power Equipment employees remove wood growth beside the dugout Wednesday afternoon at Turrentine Middle School, part of a Week of Service to benefit the communities where Honda has facilities. Volunteers from the Swepsonville plant helped alleviate a drainage problem at Turrentine’s baseball field dugouts, trim growth, remove trash, and provide maintenance for the field where students play baseball and softball.

Photos by Robert Thomason / Times-News

Kim Dawson, Benji Moore and fellow Honda Power Equipment employees remove wood growth beside the dugout Wednesday afternoon at Turrentine Middle School, part of a Week of Service to benefit the communities where Honda has facilities. Volunteers from the Swepsonville plant helped alleviate a drainage problem at Turrentine’s baseball field dugouts, trim growth, remove trash, and provide maintenance for the field where students play baseball and softball.

Honda takes a swing at solving Turrentine ballfield issues
By Jessica Williams, The Times-News 6/14/19     
Reprinted with permission.  

Tracey McIntyre and Donna Presley trim limb growth.  

Tracey McIntyre and Donna Presley trim limb growth.

 

Turrentine Middle School’s summer break began with chainsaws.

Employees of Swepsonville’s Honda Power Equipment gathered at the baseball/softball field Wednesday, June 20, to trim overgrown limbs, sweep trash, plan out a portable pitcher’s mound and a new roof for the dugout — all for the fourth annual Team Honda Week of Service.

Turrentine parent Antwan Bryant pitched the idea.

“A lot of the schools now have reduced budgets and things like that,” Bryant said. “And, like I tell people, with doing all of the coaching that I do, a lot of kids don’t have someone they can depend on and they appreciate everyone who does stick with them who comes around and they show their appreciation. This is just a way to be able to give back to those kids so they see someone actually thinks about them and appreciates them and wants them to have something nice.”

Turrentine isn’t the only Alamance-Burlington school benefiting from Honda’s assistance.

On Saturday, June 15, the team will drive out to Grove Park Elementary, where they’ll refresh the school’s natural areas and lay mulch. There will also be a rock painting station, where kids can paint their own “kindness rocks” to be placed on the grounds.

“It’s not much, but people don’t realize you can go out and buy a $200 gift, and once it’s out of the box, the kid would rather play with the box than the gift,” Bryant said. “I’ve got three of them,andthey’llsay,‘Dad, you remember this?’ And I’ll say, ‘Well, what about the shoes I bought you or the phone?’ And they’ll say, ‘Well, yeah, but it was a lot of fun when we walked through the woods and ran through the puddles.’ It’s a great feeling because people don’t realize just how little it takes for a kid to be happy.”

The Honda Power Equipment volunteers collected baseballs from the wooded area.  
The Honda Power Equipment volunteers collected baseballs from the wooded area.  

Coach Ron Davis has been at Turrentine for 40 years. He said middle schools are in a particularly difficult position financially.

And though the school system passed a $150 million bond measure in November of 2018, those funds will only address maintenance issues at the district’s six high schools, South Mebane Elementary and Pleasant Grove Elementary, leaving the remaining elementary and middle schools to depend on lottery funding and the county’s allotment.

ABSS Director of Athletics George Robinson noted any business seeking volunteer opportunities is welcome to reach out to his department at 336-438-4000, ext. 20029, for suggestions about how they can help.

“It doesn’t have to be financial,” Robinson said. “We’ll take labor as well. But any type of resources that they can provide for us to be able to serve student athletes, we would certainly be receptive of. … This really means a lot to me and Coach Davis and the students here at Turrentine Middle School.”

More than 22,000 volunteers participated in the Team Honda Week of Service in June 2018, and affected communities throughout North America. Other service activities have been blood drives, feeding the homeless, distributing hygiene and health kits, and painting/repairing homes.

“I just wish more people would step up and do it. It’s not always monetary,” Bryant said. “Sometimes it’s just talking to someone or using the two things God gave us and that’s listening. It means a whole lot to some people. I just want to try and impact where I can, make a difference.”