Looking for the coolest place to hang out in Camden, New Jersey?
Demetrious Marlowe is hoping that your search will bring you to the Salvation Army Kroc Center, which opened in 2014. The 120,000 square-foot facility, located in South Jersey just across the Delaware River from Philadelphia, is described as a place of gathering and enrichment that houses an array of education, sports, faith, arts and supportive programs.
And now, with the help of a 2018 National Diversity Grant from US Lacrosse, Marlowe, who serves as program manager, is expanding the Kroc Center’s offerings to include a larger slice of lacrosse, upping the coolness factor.
“This is a good activity for us and we’ve had a lot of people asking about it,” Marlowe said. “It fits right in with our focus on health and fitness.”
The Salvation Army Kroc Center actually introduced the sport via free instructional clinics for girls a couple of years ago, and bought a few sticks for use during the clinics. It was the recent grant from US Lacrosse, however, that is allowing the Center to expand its programming.
Marlowe launched a 10-week winter clinic for boys and girls this year, led by US Lacrosse certified coaches and local volunteers, and has purchased additional equipment to support the growth of the program. Lacrosse has also been incorporated into the Center’s after-school program and will be among the sports offered during its popular summer day camp program in 2019.
“The parents have been wildly impressed with what we are doing with lacrosse,” Marlowe said. “The kids are constantly moving for 90 minutes, and more importantly, they are learning and having fun.”
US Lacrosse is now accepting applications for its newest cycle of the National Diversity Grant Program, which provides resources to local groups and organizations to support projects and events that promote lacrosse opportunities among non-traditional participants.
Six different grant categories, with slightly differing goals and qualifications, are available: Girls’ Initiative, Urban Outreach, Community Impact, Event Support, Disability Access, and BRIDGE.
Applications will be accepted through February 8, 2019. Grant recipients will be notified by the end of February.
“We’re excited to offer these grant opportunities to assist qualifying organizations across the country in making a greater impact for diversity in our sport,” said Eboni Preston-Laurent, senior manager for diversity and inclusion at US Lacrosse. “Connecting people that are traditionally outside the lacrosse community is a primary focus for our diversity and inclusion efforts.”