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Boosters, Alec Baldwin rally again to save West Genesee modified sports

(From left) Alec Baldwin, Grace Schnorr, Gil Schnorr and Jane Sasso pose for a photo. Baldwin came out to the West Genesee modified sports fundraiser to show his support. Gil Schnorr and Sasso are members of the modified sports booster club, while Grace Schnorr threw the first pitch at the event's softball game.

(From left) Alec Baldwin, Grace Schnorr, Gil Schnorr and Jane Sasso pose for a photo. Baldwin came out to the West Genesee modified sports fundraiser to show his support. Gil Schnorr and Sasso are members of the modified sports booster club, while Grace Schnorr threw the first pitch at the event's softball game. Photo by Stephanie Bouvia.

The West Genesee Modified Sports Boosters have raised the $75,000 necessary to once again save modified sports for the coming school year.

The Boosters’ biggest fundraiser of the year was a run/walk followed by a softball ball game between the coaches and staff of Camillus and West Genesee middle schools on June 3. Serving as guest umpire for the game was actor Alec Baldwin, who offered to match the next $10,000 raised by the organization.

The Boosters met that goal, and Baldwin delivered on his promise. Baldwin, whose mother and sister live in Camillus, donated $25,000 to help save modified sports in 2011.

“Our organization is in awe of the support shown by the Camillus community, local businesses and the Alec Baldwin Foundation,” said WGMSB president Kristen Northrop.

Since 2011, budget cuts have called for combining the middle schools’ teams, which would leave up to 300 kids off the field. But the West Genesee community has yet to let that happen.

“Without them, 300 middle school students would not be participating in modified sports during the 2012-13 school year,” Northrop said.

The organization will hold a rally to thank the community during halftime of West Genesee’s varsity football game against Fayetteville-Manlius on Saturday, Sept. 8. The game starts at 1 p.m. All modified sports athletes are invited to bring a homemade “thank you” sign.

Northrop said modified sports provide students with “structure, physical activity and exposure to our outstanding coaches,” as well as a great alternative to going home to television, computers, video games and texting.

Ned Campbell can be reached at editor@eagle-observer.com.

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