Marion, Meridian team up to support local children

Thomas Howard / The Meridian Star

Meridian Mayor Jimmie Smith, Parks and Recreation Director Thomas Adams and Parks and Recreation employee Arthur Harris work with Marion Mayor Larry Gill and Police Chief Randall Davis to carry the basketball hoop into the Velma Young Community Center for assembly Wednesday. 

Both the Town of Marion and City of Meridian held holiday events last Saturday. The Marion Police Department Toy Drive provided Christmas gifts to more than 700 children from throughout East Mississippi, and the City of Meridian Parks and Recreation Department gave out hundreds of basketballs, footballs and soccer balls out to local kids at its second annual Have A Ball event.

On Wednesday, the two municipal departments teamed up to bring even more Christmas joy to local children, with the Town of Marion donating a stand-alone basketball hoop to the Meridian Parks and Recreation Department.

Marion Police Chief Randall Davis said he had seen the Meridian’s Have A Ball event, and wanted to get involved. After the toy drive, he said he had a few basketball hoops left, and thought Meridian could use one to go with the balls they handed out Saturday.

“We’d seen Meridian Parks and Recreation doing good things on Saturday giving out balls to these kids,” he said. “That’s a bonus. That’s what we do over in Marion, try to do things for the kids, keep them off the street. So we just decided to donate to them because it’s one team, one fight.”

Helping the community and supporting children doesn’t stop at city limits, Davis said, and residents could expect more cooperation in the future.

“It’s only going to help the kids,” he said. “It going to help this community, and it lets them know both communities will be working together.”

Davis said Meridian Parks and Recreation’s Have A Ball event helped the children of Marion as well as Meridian youth, and he appreciated his neighbor city putting in the effort.

“We will be back in touch with them, and we just appreciate them for what they did on Saturday,” he said.

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