Southern Highlander, 1954 September, Volume 41, Issue 3


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The Gate of Opportunity

September 1954

For many years now, we have described our work at Berry for you in the pages of The Southern Highlander. We who work daily with these young people are naturally enthusiastic about what we are doing. Some of you may wonder at times whether we are carried away by our en thusiasm, but those who have visited Berry usually think we have not been enthusiastic enough; that we have under stated the possibilities of these young people.
It is our pleasure in this issue to enclose a reprint from the July issue of the Reader's Digest. The article was written by James Saxon Childers, editor of the Atlanta Journal. Mr. Childers has visited Berry many times, and has a background of years of teaching and writing.
We hope you will read the article, and that it will give you an objective picture of Berry and the boys and girls. It is with real pleasure that we enclose the article.

The Southern Highlander
Vol. 41 September, 1954 No. 3
Founded by Miss Martha Berry January 13, 1902
Mount Berry, Floyd County, Georgia Dr. Robert S. Lambert, Mount Berry, Pres.
Berry Schools are eleemosynary institutions. Gifts are tax exempt according to federal law.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES John A. Sibley, Atlanta. Chairman Philip Weltner, Atlanta __ Vice-Chairman M. G. Keown, Mount Berry_ Treasurer Dr. Harmon Caldwell, Mrs. Virginia Camp bell Courts, G. Lister Carlisle, Dr. James G. K. McClure, Wm. McChesney Martin Jr., Nelson Macy Jr., Robert F. Maddox, E. W. Moise, G. Lamar Westcott, George Winship, R. W. Woodruff.
Published by The Berry Schools, Inc., at Mount Berry, Georgia
Printed and Published quarterly at Mount Berry, Georgia. Entered as Second Class Mail Matter at Mount Berry, Georgia, Act of Congress, March 3, 1879. Acceptance for mail ing at special rates of postage provided for by section 1103, Act of October 3, 1917. Author ized July 24, 1918.
Printed by Students on the Schools' Press
In many of the periodicals recently there have been articles about the frauds and incompetent organizations to which people give each year. It may be that some of you have never visit ed Berry wonder whether the Schools are worthwhile, and whether Berry is doing the job it should be doing.
The National Information Bureau lists a number of standards by which an organization may be judged. Here is the way Berry meets these standards.
Board--Berry has an active board which governs the Schools. There are fourteen members of the board, which meets four times each year at the Schools. A number of committees su pervise various parts of the oper ations--the financial committee, edu cational committee, the buildings and

grounds committee, and others--which meet often, and report to the Board. Hon. John A. Sibley, Chairman of the Board, has been described by Time Magazine as the outstanding banker of the South. Mr. Sibley is also a lawyer, farmer, and public spirited citizen. He serves on a number of boards of corporations and organiza tions for the public betterment. Other members of the Board include business men, educators, lawyers, engineers, bankers--all interested in helping their fellowmen. It is hard to imagine a finer Board of Trustees for an organization, or one which would work harder over the problems, and whose only compen sation is the joy of serving.
Purpose--The purpose of the Berry Schools is stated in the charter, and Berry holds firmly to the original purpose "to train boys and girls from the mountain and rural districts of the South, who are too poor to go else where, for leadership and efficient Christian citizenship in country com munities. Berry's aim is to offer suit able educational opportunities by means of manual labor to those who other wise would have no chance."
Program--Those who have visited Berry wonder how we do so much with so little. Fundamentally. Berry's unique program combining the work urogram, classes, recreation, and re ligious training, is the same as it has alwavs been. There is nothing static about the courses, however. Courses in electronics have been added, new meth ods of farming demonstrated, new ways of home-making encouraged. It is a fundamental education, with modern methods.
Co-operation--The chancellor of the Universitv Svstem of Georgia, and a former chancellor are on Berry's board. Last year a committee from other schools in this area visited Berry to studu the offerings, and the nrogress of the students. While holding to Berrv's uniaue urogram, we give +he bovs and girls the best nossible edu cation, eomuarable to work done in other schools.
Ethical Promotion and Fund Rais-
ing Practice--Berrv has never had a paid agent in the field to solicit funds.
(Continued on Page Seven)

Page Three


Berry opened for the 53rd year September 7, and a thousand boys and girls entered, some for the first time, some to continue the courses they have already started.
During the summer, 500 of them have worked at various jobs on the campus to earn their tuition and expenses for the coming year. They have worked on the farms, the or chards where they gathered 1800 bushels of peaches, in the dining halls where the girls cooked 1500 meals a day, in the laundry where they did the clothes for boys and girls who had worked hard and sometimes at dirty jobs such as cleaning out boilers, and in the shops where they refinished furniture, painted, repaired, improved, and built two new houses for staff members.
Some of the boys and girls will enter to work during the fall term for their tuition for the coming se mesters. Others will start classes to earn their diplomas and degrees.
Several new staff members are be ing added this year. The quality of instruction will be improved, and new courses offered.
During the summer the boys and girls have done a great deal of work. One new industry, book binding, has been added. The boys and girls work ing in this department have bound more than 1500 volumes at a great savings to the schools. Magazines which had accumulated on the shelves of the library because there were no funds with which to have them bound, have been put between covers, and are now available for research. Many volumes which have been worn through much usage have also received new covers.
A new feed mill has been installed in one of the barns, and the bovs will grind all the feed for the chickens, cows, hogs, and other livestock. This will not only be a saving to the Schools, but will give the boys experience in selecting feed and grain, and in mix ing it.

The boys have built two staff houses, which will be occupied this fall. They have also laid rock walks around some of the buildings, and landscaped the new dormitory, Morton Hall. Another dormitory, Lemley Hall, has been ren ovated, and the trim repainted.
The home economics practice house, Katherine Cottage, has had new bed rooms and baths added. Additional space is being provided for the girls who major in home economics, and who must live in the practice house to get practical experience in home mak ing. Each girl must perform each duty in the house, buying, balancing the budget, meal planning, entertaining, cleaning, and learning to keep house.
In the cannery some 20,000 gallons of fruits and vegetables have been canned for winter use. These vegetables were grown in the garden by the boys. Fresh vegetables were provided the dining halls throughout the summer, and some of the surplus sold.
In the cabinet shop, cabinets were made for the new faculty homes, for the home economics practice house, and for use in the School. They also repaired screens, and doors, and did the millwork for the houses.
Each year, the deans and staff mem bers are impressed with the new boys and girls who come in. This year they are saying that we have the nicest group we've ever had. They also said this last year, and the year before. We can be sure that the quality of Berry students is not diminishing. As long as Berry offers the opportunity to bright boys and girls to earn an ed ucation, there will be fine young people, eager to work and earn that opportu nity.
r-------- ---J
Is Tax Exempt
i--.-- ------.--i

Page Four


Reader's Digest

july 1954

An article a day of enduring significance, in condensed permanent booklet form

The Sunday Lady

is the rounger

I 1

ts hard


of IPossum Trot

5 not in d time

Some of the luckiest kids in the country go to school near - Rome, Ga. A short way north of town is a white fence with wide gates. A lane leads through pastures with sheep and cattle graz ing. Ahead, rising from the fields and above the forests, are spires.
This is all part of the campus of the Berry Schools.
The governor of Georgia visited Mount Berry not long ago and, after he saw the classrooms, talked with boys on farms and in shops, watched the girls weaving, cooking, sewing, he said that when his son was old enough he wanted him to come to the Berry Schools. "Sorry, Governor," he was told. "We take only boys and girls who can't afford to go to school anywhere else."
This was the original plan, back in 1902, when Martha Berry founded her school. She saw the mountain boys and girls grow up in ignorance and poverty. She saw that the lim-

Condensed from Town & Country
James Saxon Childers
Martha Berry gave of herself and all her possessions to banish igno
rance from her beloved hills
ited life of these people was a burden to themselves and a loss to the na tion. And so for 40 years, from girl hood until her death, she gave them her money, her land, her devotion and her time.
Miss Berry, the daughter of a well-to-do planter, inherited the land that is now the site of the Berry Schools. Through the years she added to her inheritance, till today the Berry Schools stand on perhaps the most beautiful campus in America: 30,000 acres of field and forest, the oaks massive, the pines tall, the lakes silver. The original log cabins in whjch she began are still there, dwarfed now by great Gothic buildings whose spires probe the sky.
Martha Berry was just a girl

in all succeed : wants for all yours,
se and is just it.
10I this >ut May two or > finish I am a ave any furnish
y and I
ny way

Town & Country {July, '54), copyright 1954 by Hearst Magazines, Inc., 572 Madison Ave., New York 22, N. Y.

except ly kind d offer

one is a general ravorite, sne nas a wonderful personality and just bubbles over with enthusiasm.
She will have a very difficult time getting a college education financially. She is determined to go to college and I admire her spunk.
She lives with her parents on a farm 12 miles from school. Her father is a tenant farmer and there are eight

Would you people please write to me and let me no whather you would expect me in your school on these baces or not. My parents is poore People and I can not finish my school ing inless I can work my way threw school.
Cor dally

Page Five


tit Some of the Berry School buildings constructed by the students


V. TO!

' HI" "I


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when, playing a melodeon one Sun But before long it was clear that


day afternoon, she saw some ragged day schools were not the answer.


mountain children outside the win There was always something to keep

girls some have
Du have camp expei have chare bushi

dow listening. She invited them in. She asked if they had been to Sun day school. They didn't know what she was talking about. So she told them Bible stories and played for them and sang.
Next Sunday they were back, bringing friends from over the coun tryside, from Possum Trot and

the children at home: corn to hoe, hogs to butcher, cotton to pick. Martha Berry decided that the only solution was a boarding school -- where the pupils could work for their keep. One day Miss Berry went into Rome and deeded her prop erty, in perpetuity, to a school for mountain boys and girls. Her lawyer


Horseleg Mountain, from Foster's argued but she hushed him. "I shall


Bend and Trapp's Hollow. None raise a crop better than the land is


had ever touched a book or knew producing now," she said.

work jobs in tl furni and meml
Soi enter for t mesh earn

what a pencil meant. Soon her "class" was so big that Martha moved it to a country church at Possum Trot. To this day the mountain people refer to her as "the Sunday Lady of Possum Trot." No subsequent honor meant so much to her as this name.
Many of the children's parents could not write or read. Martha Berry decided that a Sunday school

In January 1902, with a small dormitory near the whitewashed schoolhouse, she opened the Mount Berry School for Boys, with five pupils. Tuition was set at $25; often it was paid in kind, an ox, a pig, a load of corn. But the school grew faster than Miss Berry's income, and still there were more boys waiting to come. So Martha Berry went to New York and told people about her


was not enough, that book learning project. A church congregation gave


must be added to worship.

her money. She tackled a Wall


She built a little whitewashed Street man; he gave her $500, and


school across the road from the the names of other men who might


plantation. The first day 12 boys help. In the White House, Teddy


sat on the benches. Others from Roosevelt listened to her story and


back in the hills, shy as young deer, gave a dinner in her honor. She told

ing i more savin whicl of th'

hid in the fringe of the clearing, poised to race away. She pretended not to see them and they lost their fear, sidling in on bare feet.

her story again and. the men at the table wrote checks.
The money went to hire teachers, enough for their food and clothing;



are n


thrOU&ii mu^ii uoage i.dvc ai.,u iclcivcu

new covers.




A new feed mill has been installed in one of the barns, and the boys will grind all the feed for the chickens, cows, hogs, and other livestock. This will not only be a saving to the Schools, but will give the boys experience in selecting feed and grain, and in mix ing it.

- -i

Page Four


beyond that they lived on the spirit that still largely supports the 150 teachers at Berry Schools. The money also went to extend the land: stretches of great timber in the hills and lowlands ripe for the plow.
In 1909 the boys swung their axes and laid the logs for a girls' school. Down from the hills came their sisters, bringing the pledge of a new life in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia, the Cumberlands of Ten nessee, the Great Smokies in North Carolina and the craggy heights of Sand Mountain in Alabama. Today, in the school's 100 buildings, there are separate high schools for boys and girls, and a college.
Every student goes to classes four days a week, and works two days to earn his room and board. There is no hired labor -- the students do all the work under supervision of their instructors, who, in blue jeans like the boys, work shoulder to shoulder with them.
When a science-agriculture build ing was needed, three stories high, 200 feet long, the boys went down into the red pits and dug the clay. They baked a million bricks; they cut trees and hauled them to their sawmill. They installed plumbing and wiring.
For a chapel they cut blocks of native stone and built the massive walls. They made oaken doors and hammered out figured iron hinges in their foundry, built the pews and the beautifully carved pulpit.
When dormitories were needed the boys built those. Beds, chairs,

cabinets and chests were made from wood they cut and seasoned. Bed spreads were woven by the girls in their loom shop and the quilts were pieced and sewn there. The cloth is colored by dyes boiled from moun tain herbs and roots.
All the buildings at Berry are topped by spires -- even the barns. "You need a spire on a barn more than on a church," Miss Berry said. "On the way to church your mind is already turned toward God, but in the farmyard you need something to lead your thoughts upward."
The farm has 1000 acres in crops, another 2000 in pasture, 40 acres in vegetables; 300 rolling acres are almost solid color when the apple and peach trees bloom. There are 1400 pigs and cattle, 13,000 chick ens. The Berry forest, one of the largest stands of pine in the South, is culled annually for salable timber. Last year.students planted 150,000 seedlings to perpetuate the forest.
The girls prepare, cook and serve the food, operate the school laundry and canning plant, work in the li braries and as secretaries in the col lege offices. They conduct a nursery school for faculty families living on the campus, and do practice-teach ing at the grade school down in Possum Trot -- where the Sunday Lady started it all.
These boys and girls know the discipline of independence. Eighty percent pay their own tuition -- $100 a semester in the high school, $150 in the college. They do it by working through the summer, or by

is the younger ks hard rherever is not in rd time
1 in all succeed e wants for all
)se and is just
Dol this out May
two or 0 finish
I am a ave any furnish y and I ny way

one is a general tavonte, she has a wonderful personality and just bubbles over with enthusiasm.
She will have a very difficult time getting a college education financially. She is determined to go to college and I admire her spunk.
She lives with her parents on a farm 12 miles from school. Her father is a tenant farmer and there are eight

3 except ny kind Id offer
Would you people please write to me and let me no whather you would expect me in your school on these baces or not. My parents is poore People and I can not finish my school ing inless I can work my way threw school.

Page Five


withdrawing from classes entirely tion building. And then one day he


for a semester and remaining at the looked out across the quadrangle

school as workers. There is enduring and said to Martha Berry: "How


satisfaction for those who earn their little I have given here. All the way. A boy feels it as he slides his money in the world couldn't have

palm oyer a drop-leaf table that he built the Berry Schools."


has built to help pay his tuition. Fifteen thousand graduates have


A girl feels it as she pins a mountain gone out from Mount Berry. Emory

girls some have
Du have camp expe: have chart bush' wher

flower on the party dress that she herself has made.
The Berry Schools have passed many a severe test. The elder Henry Ford and his wife had a habit of rambling around the country and dropping in on schools, "fust visit ing," he'd say. One morning the Fords, traveling North from Florida, telephoned that they'd like to stop

Alexander, nationally known agron omist, swapped a team of oxen for his tuition. Dr. Reavis C. Sproull, head of the Herty Foundation, one of the South's foremost scientific organizations, worked as a student carpenter. The three state legis lators from Floyd County, where Berry is located, are former stu dents, as are college presidents, teach


off at Mount Berry.

ers, lawyers, doctors, editors. Fif


After lunch in the dining hall the teen Berry men work as scientists

work jobs in tl furni and mem
Soi enter for t mesti earn
Se1 ing ; instri

guests went into the kitchen and Mrs. Ford commented on how clean everything was. Then she took a closer look. "But, Miss Berry, the floor is pieced!"
Martha Berry smiled. "If you can't afford a new dress for a growing child," she said, "you add a ruffle to the old one and piece it out. Here when we can't afford a new building we just push the walls out a bit and piece out the floor."
Mrs. Ford walked over to the old

and teachers at Oak Ridge. Among the women graduates are homedemonstration agents, designers, newspaperwomen, dieticians, hun dreds of teachers. The school never has been able to supply the demand for its graduates.
Many of the boys and girls Martha Berry taught now are teachers at the school.'They maintain the tradition she gave them.
Although Martha Berry died in 1942, there still is the same wise


wood stove and said to her husband, balance between poetry and plowing

Du girls One

"Henry, the girls cooked that nice at the Berry Schools under the new lunch on this stove. They've used president, Robert S. Lambert. There what they have so well that they is laughter on the campus and, come


deserve a new stove."

dance nights, the boys and girls

ing i

Ford's gift was more than a stove: skip away. It's a good life they live

more savin whicl of th

he gave three million dollars for a and it's a good training they get: to dining hall, a kitchen, two dormi acquire knowledge and skill and the tories, a recitation hall and a recrea- will to work.

funds have

The Reader's Digest Association, Inc. Pleasantville, N. Y. Printed in U. S. A.

are r


througii inucii usage nave aisu receiveu

new covers.

A new feed mill has been installed in one of the barns, and the bovs will grind all the feed for the chickens, cows, hogs, and other livestock. This will not only be a saving to the Schools, but will give the boys experience in selecting feed and grain, and in mix ing it.


Page Four


Dear Sir: I am enclosing an application for
admittance to the Berry Schools. My reasons for desiring to attend Berry are as follows, courses offered, finan cial reasons, and recommendation from friends who have attended Berry.
I will graduate here in May. If pos sible I would like to be a work student during the summer months. In case you cannot accept me for a work stu dent during the summer, I would like to enter as a work student for the fall term.
My choice of work would be in the sewing-room or office work. I have had a course in home-economics and have good typing skill. My grades are good. In my spare time I like to play the piano and sew. I am interested in sports.
I was selected Good-Citizenship girl of my school and the county.
I have had a brother and two sisters to graduate from the Berry Schools. I have a brother who is in school at Berry now. They all recommend that I attend Berry.
Very truly yours, Willa
Dear Sir:
I am writing you about one of our senior girls who is very anxious to attend college next year. Tilda is a straight A student, and is an honor graduate. She is very friendly and is well liked by both faculty and students. She is a general favorite, she has a wonderful personality and just bubbles over with enthusiasm.
She will have a very difficult time getting a college education financially. She is determined to go to college and I admire her spunk.
She lives with her parents on a farm 12 miles from school. Her father is a tenant farmer and there are eight

children in the family. Tilda is the next to the oldest and has six younger brothers and sisters. She works hard at home and earns money wherever she gets a chance. Her father is not in good health and has a hard time supporting the family.
Tilda is honest and faithful in all her duties. I am sure she will succeed if given any chance at all. She wants the opportunity of working for all her expenses, if possible.
Sincerely yours, H. J. H. Principal
Another recommendation:
If I understand the purpose and spirit of Berry College, Tilda is just the type of girl you would want.
M. V. T. Teacher
Gentlemens: I am completing this school this
year. Our school will be out a bout May the 20th or 25fi and there is two or three subject I would like to finish before I quit going to school.
Now here is the main point. I am a poore country boy and I dont have any money or any income. I could furnish my own wearing cloathing only and I just wonder if I could work my way threw school.
I dont no any working trades except farming. I am willing to try any kind of work that the school would offer me to do.
Would you people please write to me and let me no whather you would expect me in your school on these baces or not. My parents is poore People and I can not finish my school ing inless I can work my way threw school.

Page Five

Dear Sir:
The very fact that Robert has made application for admission to Berry Schools is an indication of his fine Christian character.
Unless one has experienced a child hood in a disturbed and broken home as Robert has, and as I have, he will never know the deep emotional dis turbances that a child of this misfortune experiences. Soon after Robert learned I had been reared by foster parents he began to tell me about his family. This is a part of the account as I re member it:
He is the youngest of 4 children. All he seems to remember of his home life before his parents separated when he was 5, is his father beating his moth er until she was blue. His father is a drunkard. He would come home drunk and beat his wife and many times lock her out of the house. On these occasions she would have to spend the night with the neighbors. After the parents sep arated the children were scattered, spending time with relatives or one of their parents. His oldest brother soon entered military service and his sisters married. Robert lived with one of his sisters for a year more. His first 5 years in school was shifting from one school to another as he went from place to place to live. His mother during the years was working to support him but couldn't seem to find a place to settle down and make a home for him. When Robert was about 9 or 10 he and his mother moved to the community where they live at present. His mother provid ed as best she could for him, but as she had to work long hours and many times 7 davs a week, she couldn't provide much of a home life for Robert. She still has to work long hours. She is a fine Christian woman and is ad mired by all who know her because of the courageous way she discharges her responsibilities.
Despite all this, I would hasten to say he is well adjusted and has a well integrated personality.
From this background I can under stand why he is retarded in scholastic achievement. His mother being limited

in education isn't any help to him in his school work. I would say he has made use of the educational advantages he has had, considering his background.
He can't afford to attend a more expensive school than yours, and I don't believe there is another school that can give him the help your school can. He needs your help.
Sincerely yours, R. E. G.
Dear Sir: Enclosed is an application I've filled
out, hopeing to get to enter Berry College.
I am especially interested in going to College. I am one of eleven children, and because of financial difficulties, if I go to College I will have to work my way.
From what I know of the Berry Schools, I'm sure I would enjoy going there very much.
Yours very truly, Rosa
Dear Friends: Melvina is one of the most deserving
girls I have ever known. She has helped to shoulder a big responsibilty at home since the death of her mother. She did farm work after school, yet never missed a day from school, until lately because of illness in the family.
She is pretty, loveable, and is ex cellent college material. Since she wants to be a teacher, I should like to see her enrolled at least by September, for if she takes a job, I'm afraid she will feel that her salary was indespensable.
I believe she will prove to be a student you can be proud of.
Mrs. B. M. Z.

Page Six

Is Berry Worth Helping?
(From Page Three)
Being rich in friends, Berry has de pended upon them to spread the word and to interest others in the Schools. A man well-versed in fund raising said the other day, "I know of no other organization which undertakes to raise $150,000 each year without some group--a church, club, fund-raising firm or foundation--standing back of them to make up the deficit. It is a remarkable demonstration in faith." We have never "put pressure" on any one to give, and are proud that every gift to Berry has been made because someone wanted to give and believed in the boys and girls who are being helped here.
Audit--The books and all financial records are checked annually by a firm in Atlanta, which has no connec tion with Berry. A letter to the Board of Trustees dated May 7, 1954 reads: "We have audited these accounts an nually for the past forty-four years and have always found the accounts to be carefully and accurately kept."

Budget--A budget is carefully made up by the business manager, in con sultation with heads of the depart ments. While there is never enough money to do everything we want to do, or sometimes even need to do, the money available is carefully budgeted, and allocated where it will do the most good. Perhaps it is even better that we do not have unlimited funds, for much study, prayer and time is spent over the budget and every effort is made to spread the funds over as large area as possible. As Miss Berry often said, "We spend both sides of every dollar. We have to make each dollar do the work of two."
Those who have visited Berry, we are sure, will have no doubt about the good work being done here. You know that Berry is a legitimate School, do ing a job that is different from any other school in America.
To those of you who have not been
to Berry we say in the words of the
Master, "Blessed are they who have
not seen, yet believe."


j^OMEONE once said that a will reveals the real person. When it is published one announces one's hope for the future, and one's belief in enduring values. If you believe in young people; if you think boys and girls are worth educating; if you wish to assure them that there will be an opportunity to educate themselves, then Berry is a logical place to invest in the future. Berry's type of training the head, hand, heart, and spirit is needed in the world today. If you believe in these enduring values, may you help us preserve them.

Page Seven

Working Scholarships--This Fall we are taking as many boys and girls as we can put in our dormitories. We have faith in our friends, and in these young people. For $150 you can give them a year at Berry, where they are trained to work, surrounded by a Christian atmosphere, and taught and instructed in many sub jects, and where they learn to live simply. Our graduates' records prove the training is sound.
Endowed Scholarships--For $5,000 you can endow a scholarship in perpetuity, and name the scholarship for anyone you desire. This would be a lasting memorial, and a help to boys and girls for years to come.
Operating Expenses--With costs rising, it is a constant battle to stay within our budget. We grow everything possible on our farms, and our boys and girls do all the work, but there are still many things we have to buy to operate the Schools. Any amount will help.
Equipment--We can use washing machines, ironers, vacuum clean ers, irons, toasters, and other equipment. We are starting a labor atory to teach the girls the use of various types of mechanical equipment, and any type you can send us will be a great help.
Tools--All kinds of tools, garden, carpentry, drawing, mechanical, and anything you have that you are not using, can be used at Berry to good advantage.
Books, Magazines--We are always anxious to have books and maga zines for our library and reading rooms. Good reading material is much in demand.
Athletic Equipment, Games--Balls, bats, tennis racquets, or any games will be appreciated by our young people. We try to have a good recreational program, and any equipment will be an asset.