VACAVILLE POLICE KICK IT WITH BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB
Loud yells could be heard echoing from the Markham Heights neighborhood this week.
“Officer, over here! Over here, officer!” children shouted from Boys and Girls Club on Holly Lane.
This week, the club hosted a soccer clinic for local kids Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon.
The clinic was a chance for kids to get out of the house over Thanksgiving break, said Flavia Coria, academic coordinator for the Boys and Girls Club.
It also was a chance to kick the ball around with their new pals who have paid many visits to the club during the past several weeks. Vacaville Police Lt. Mark Donaldson and Officer Carly Broaddus have been visiting the club to help kids out with homework or just kick the ball around.
Usually, they will show up in uniform while they are on duty, said Donaldson.
But on Thanksgiving week, Donaldson and Broaddus were both off. Wednesday, they came out in their civilian clothes, ready to serve as goalies during a scrimmage.
“There’s some great kids out here,” Donaldson said during half time.
Hanging out at the club shows the kids “that we’re just regular people,” he said. It also reminds Donaldson of the positive aspects of the community.
“Sometimes I think I’m getting more out of it than the kids are,” he said.
These types of activities are important because they allow kids to become familiar with their officers, said Broaddus. It’s also rewarding to see the girls realize that they too can be police officers, she said.
The soccer clinic was organized by Vacaville High School senior David Quintero.
“It’s for all of us,” said Quintero, who has been coming to the club since he was six. “It’s a place where kids feel safe and have fun.”
Soccer also is a way for people to rise above racial divisions, he said.
“Any race can play,” he said. “What matters is how they all love the game.”