Tillie’s Touch drive happening Saturday

— Tilie’s Touch, a sports equipment drive started by Dale Johnson back in 2009, is holding its annual charity event on May 12 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Manlius Rec Center on Stickley Drive.

This year, Touch partnered with FM Little League for the drive, which collects new and gently used sports equipment and distributes the items to those who need it. Tim Coleman, who is affiliated with FM Little League and is Tillie’s Touch’s spokesperson, said the items most in need are shoes, cleats, socks and baseball mitts. He said helmets are not needed.

A press release states that this year, Touch is also collecting lacrosse sticks, soccer balls, footballs and basketballs. Anything that falls into the “unserviceable” category is not needed, Coleman said.

Back in April, FM Little League raised more than $3,000 for uniforms and helmets for Tillie’s Touch.

“It’s a great community event that helps others,” Coleman said in a phone interview. “We want to give these items to those who can’t necessarily afford these items new.”

Tillie’s Touch is a non-profit based in the city and has been assisting underprivileged youth with sports equipment and schools supplies for a number of years. It’s named after Johnson’s daughter, Tillie.

“This happens throughout the year,” Coleman added. “Johnson does such a great job with all of this.”

If you’d like to donate, just show up to the event and there will people to assist you. For more information, please call Coleman at 952-6440.

Neil Benjamin Jr. can be reached at nbenjamin@eaglenewsonline.com.

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