Buddy Ball chosen as top overall project in Mississippi

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Buddy Ball was recognized at the Mississippi Municipal League Conference as the top overall project and Buddy Ball Director Trevor Adam said the community is a huge part of the program’s success.

Adam knew when he came to Picayune that he wanted to start something that would benefit children and adults with special needs, but the road to get there was full of uncertainties.

“It was a blessing to us because we knew we wanted to start something,” Adam said.

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“But it took the city and community to help us.”

Since something like this had never been done in the area, Adam wasn’t sure what kind of support he’d be able to get.

However, with the help of the Kiwanis Club of Picayune, community leaders and selfless citizens, Buddy Ball has grown each year.

The award reinforces what the program as a whole is trying to accomplish in the city, and continued growth is the hope for the immediate future.

It doesn’t matter what trials and tribulations a person may have faced during their day. Adam said stepping on the field with the players makes all the world’s troubles disappear.

“That peacefulness of seeing a smile on their face and knowing you’re able to help them with that means the world,” Adam said.

A beneficial aspect of winning the award is that Adam thinks it’ll allow Buddy Ball to become better known in the area. This would drive an increase in participants, and that’s really what Adam wants to see.

“Getting this award and people seeing it, it lets them understand this is worth coming to,” Adam said.

Due to where the program is located geographically, participants come to Picayune from other areas in Mississippi and even St. Tammany Parish to be a part of the program. Providing a service like Buddy Ball gives Adam and the community opportunities to help people with special needs and see the joy on their faces during the games.

“I just feel like people should have an opportunity to be a part of something, that’s something we all want,” Adam said.

“Every community should be able to offer something.”

The betterment of the community is something that Adam says programs like Buddy Ball accomplish, and he said that these kinds of programs demonstrate why it’s important to treat everyone equally.

“Having compassion for people of all walks of life means a lot, and I think it helps better your community,” Adam said.

Adam said that if the program continues to grow, there will be consideration into branching out to other sports like football, soccer and basketball.

Until then, Adam hopes Buddy Ball continues to be successful with the help of the community.

“We encourage people to reach out, we want to continue to grow,” Adam said.

“None of this is possible without the support of the community, city leaders and county leaders.”

“That’s where a lot of this has a made a huge impact and we can’t thank them enough.”