Campbell donates to Rec Center

Rising Bellwood-Antis junior Alli Campbell was honored with a plaque by the executive board of the Northern Blair County Recreation Center as thanks for Campbell’s $1,000 donation as part of her being named by Gatorade as the 2017-2018 Pennsylvania girls basketball player of the year.

The plaque was provided by Bill and Mary Anne Siegel of Bellwood.

“When I had to choose an organization, this was the first place that came to mind,” Campbell said from behind a plaque that was as large as her entire upper body. “I started my career here, played against and with many friends, put up a few shots and beat a few boys also, but it’s definitely the perfect place.”

As part of her player of the year award, Campbell was to select a national or local youth sports organization to receive a grant as a part of the Gatorade Play It Forward program, who’s stated purpose on the plaque is “to help the next generation of athletes reap the benefits of sport in their community.”

Northern Blair Recreation Center Executive Director Matt Dry, reading from the plaque inscription, said, “she could have picked any national or local sports organization to be the recipient of this grant, but Alli chose the Northern Blair County Recreation Center, right here where she started her basketball career.”

“This honor is a great honor for Alli and our community,” Recreation Center Board Secretary Joe DelGrosso said. “She’s put a lot of hard work, and a lot of dedication into making her what she is today. So we’re just very honored in the fact that she chose the recreation center for the grant that she received that we are now the recipient of.”

DelGrosso said that the center has purchased two benches in Campbell’s honor for use in the center’s gymnasium for players to sit on while using the facility, and plans are in the works to put some kind of plaques on the benches themselves in recognition of Campbell’s donation.

Campbell said she was happy to be able to give back to a place that has always held a special place in her heart.

“It’s great to give back and see that the money is going to be used the right way to help make this a nicer place than it already is,” Campbell said.