Palisadians Raise Funds for Special Sports Teams
The concept is simple. “Coaches” (high school athletes) mentor “players” (children with disabilities) as they compete on soccer, basketball, volleyball and flag football teams.
“There are over two million kids with special needs across the county who still don’t have a chance to play high school sports,” is the message from Team Prime Time Sports, which in 2012 started the coach/player program in two schools.
Seven years later, 29 schools in the Los Angeles area have instituted the successful model and Prime Time would like the program to expand.
The start-up cost is about $7,500 to cover uniforms, equipment, transportation and the salary of the [school’s] head coach. After the first season it’s $5,000 per school and the cost is about $150 to $250 per student—up to 32 students can participate.
Where does money come from to keep this program financed?
Enter Palisadian Wade Clement, who graduated from Duke in 2016 and started working with the nonprofit Team Prime Time as a program manager.
Clement has just finished his first successful fundraising event– “Primetime Charity Casino Classic,” thanks to help from three other Palisadians: Steve Heineman (Social Bluebook) and sons Scott and Tyler, who are professional minor league baseball players.
Scott was selected as the Texas Rangers’ 2018 Prospect of the Year. (He was interviewed after the event on the MLB network. Visit: mlb.com/video/heineman-on-prime-time-charity/c-2522394483?tid=7417714.)
The fundraiser, held at the Buffalo Club in Santa Monica, featured poker, casino games and silent auction items centered around sports, such as an on-field batting practice with the Milwaukee Brewers, and tickets to a game in Ryan Braun’s family/friends’ section, plus a personalized signed bat. (Ryan Braun was the National League home run leader (2012) and National League Rookie of the Year (2007).
“We raised more than $70,000 from the event,” Clement said, noting that 72 people played poker and there was a waiting list to play. “We’re incredibly grateful for the enthusiastic support from all of our sponsors, particularly Beverly Hills Sports Council, Social Bluebook, and the Heineman family.” (To view pictures, visit:teamprimetime.org/prime-time-charity-classic-2019.)
“Given the enthusiastic support generated before, during and after this event, we absolutely anticipate the Prime Time Charity Casino Classic to become an annual event,” Clement said. About 180 people participated in the event.