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Grants Awarded
Arlington Girls Summer Basketball

There's something so special about summer. It's not just the longer days and the warmer temperatures, it's summer's call to put down the devices and endless routines and find simple ways to be together and just have fun. You can witness this firsthand on Sunday evenings at the Arlington Robbins Field basketball courts, from 6pm to 8:30 p.m., when four parent coaches gather a group of 5th and 6th grade girls to play pickup 5 on 5 basketball. It's nothing structured, just a chance to learn the game, and the only rule is to have fun. 


Dan Kerr, Arlington father of four, and a few other parents decided to informally reinstate this girls pickup league last summer. To date, twenty-five 5th and 6th grade girls have participated from across town. Kerr mentioned, "This is a throwback to old-fashioned fun, like we had when we were kids. Just show up and play. Those are the special memories that mark a childhood."


The league started up again this summer as soon as school closed. Then, several weeks later something special happened. The pickup league received an inaugural grant from the Dan Kelly Foundation, whose mission is to help kids thrive. The Foundation is the legacy of former Arlington Police Lieutenant, Daniel J. Kelly, Jr., who passed away last year after a long and courageous battle with cancer. Dan Kelly was a husband, father, police officer, coach, and community leader. He lived his life finding need and then meeting that need with an opportunity, especially when it came to kids in Arlington. 


The DK4 Foundation launched this year, committed to providing athletic opportunities for children of all ages and diverse backgrounds guided by the belief that everyone is an athlete. "Dan believed that sports can harness the power in kids by building character, teaching perseverance and teamwork, providing peer relationships and a healthy outlet to the everyday stressors that kids face in the world today, " said his wife and president of the DK4 Foundation, Kelley Grealish Kelly.


"The grant funding window opened just as the league season was kicking off," said Dan Kerr, "so the need for reversible basketball jerseys for the girls seemed like something the DK4 Foundation might consider funding."  That's exactly what happened next. The first granting opportunity for the Foundation was a win-win, and on Sunday, July 9th, the girls were sporting DK4 basketball jerseys.


The Sunday evening sessions will continue for the rest of the summer. It's only fitting that in a pickup league where no one rides the bench, now sits the spirit of Dan Kelly who is undoubtedly watching and cheering the girls on.

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