Every year, there are thousands of kiddos right here in Northwest Arkansas who are given a chance to play sports. It's all thanks to a local nonprofit.
From playing for the Razorbacks for several years, to playing for the St. Louis Cardinals, Tom Pagnozzi is now the namesake of a nonprofit helping to bring sports to the lives of young athletes in our area.
Pagnozzi Charities was first set up to help fund the U of A baseball program. In 1999, it shifted its focus to local children.
The foundation grants several sports scholarships to kids from kindergarten through 8th grade, giving them the opportunity to play.
"These are disadvantaged children who otherwise couldn't afford to play the sports and we also help them with things like equipment," says Pagnozzi Charities' Kelley Atchley. "It's giving them something to do after school and during the summer. Keeping them out of trouble, pretty much."
With the nonprofit growing and adding more programs, it still needs your help to help others.
You can do that through the group's "Adopt a Player" program.
"$50 is our average price for a scholarship and $50 dollars will allow a child to play a single sport an entire season," says Atchley.
Organizers say the Pagnozzi Charities is all about leveling the playing field and allowing as many children who want to play sports the opportunity to play.
"It's a really rewarding job just to see the kids' faces and hear the stories that come back to us," says Atchley.