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New non-profit aims to help young athletes

(Cleats for Kids press release) Anderson County’s newest non-profit organization is set to launch operations on Friday, August 23, according to a press release.

Cleats for Kids is aimed at leveling the playing field in Anderson County’s youth sports by providing registration fees, equipment, uniforms, cleats, and shoes to athletes who are unable to provide their own. This newly-formed non-profit will provide resources to Anderson County’s youth by accepting donations of gently used sports equipment and conducting fundraisers.

Cleats for Kids will serve the children of the entire County, and is divided into District 1 (Oak Ridge), District 2 (Clinton, Claxton, Oliver Springs, and Norwood areas) and District 3 (Rocky Top, Norris, Andersonville, Briceville and New River areas).

Brandon Pelizzari, Founder and Executive Director of Cleats for Kids, had the idea for the non-profit when he saw children who were ill equipped with the wrong bats and shoes competing against well prepared children. Pelizzari said, “when I saw these kids who didn’t have adequate equipment, I knew they were already starting off at a disadvantage. This is when I knew we could do something about it. I asked my brother to design the logo and I approached Oak Ridge High School teacher Scotty Herrell to be Co-Founder and District 1 Director. Scotty was excited to get involved.”

Together, according to the group’s announcement, Pelizzari and Herrell asked Clinton High School Principal Caleb Tipton and Anderson County High School Principal Ben Downs to serve as District 2 and 3 Directors, respectively, and they both agreed to help.

The rest of the administrative team includes Chris Hagans (Chief Financial Officer) and Stephen McNally (Chief Information Officer). Cleats for Kids’ Board of Directors include: Brian Ford, Rick Turnbill, Jasper Young, Jason Hamock, Sebastian Waters and Travis Freeman.

Cleats for Kids will have a booth at the Anderson County/Clinton football game on Friday, August 23, at Dragon Stadium in downtown Clinton, where they will be accepting donations of gently used sports equipment (bats, gloves, pads, helmets, washed uniforms and cleats, and balls of all types).

For more information, contact Brandon Pelizzari by phone at 865-209-8817, or by email at brandonkpelizzari@gmail.com.

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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