By Mia Sims Las Vegas Review-Journal
It has been over 15 years since coach Gene Tate of northwest Las Vegas brought divisions of the East Palo Alto T-Ball team and Junior Giants to the Las Vegas area.
“We do this program at this ballpark because the projects are right on the other side of the fence,” Tate said of the nearby neighborhood. “Many of the parents of those kids may not drive to take them to play ball, but here, the kids can just jump the fence and sign up. The payoff comes years down the line, when these kids are in college and coming back to volunteer with us.”
On July 20, Tate was among about 30 people on the ballpark grounds who watched as Las Vegas City Councilman Cedric Crear accepted a $10,000 donation from Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., an African American fraternity with chapters across the country, that will allow the city to revitalize Kianga Isoke Palacio Park and its amenities.
“This is really going to help the kids,” said Mario Berlanga, a longtime supporter and sponsor for youth baseball in the area.“This is a great day — not for me but for them. We talked to the councilman and he got this for us. It’s a great day for the kids.”
The donation will fund two new scoreboards for the field, which is home to the Bolden Little League and the East Palo Alto T-Ball team. The donation kicked off Alpha Day, which included a daylong series of events and activities for children and families.
“We’re trying to have upmobility and better life for our children,” said William McCurdy Sr., park commissioner for the city. “We are a low-income area, but we deserve to have everything that other wards have. We want our children to accomplish the goals they have for their life, and that starts here. Kids love to see how they’re doing — keep a score. They like to see themselves setting and accomplishing goals.”