• Backyard Sports Cares Blog



  • BYSC executive director announces Next Generation Campaign to lead organization into the future

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    LISTEN to our podcast interview with Danny Bernstein, executive director, BYSC

    When Backyard Sports Cares launched in 2009, we knew we were doing something special. There was a void for many parents in the Westchester Community who were seeking either affordable sports programming for their typical child or programs that were accommodating to their child or teen with physical or developmental challenges.

    Now, 10 years later, through the support of hundreds of Westchester community families and private sector partners, we have been able to serve more than 2,500 youngsters and teens annually who have had little to no access to organized team sports.

    Melvin Campos, Boys & Girls Club

    “Danny Bernstein and Backyard Sports Cares are very important and valued partners of the Boys & Girls Club of Mount Vernon. Their sports programming is integral to our Youth Development Strategy. Backyard Sports works with us to provide opportunities for youth in non-traditional sports. The BYSC Team is professional and engaging and offers our kids a chance to participate enthusiastically in sports that would typically be out of reach.” — Melvin Campos, chief professional officer, Boys & Girls Club of Mount Vernon

    BYSC’s programs have proven to help fill a significant gap in our community, while also bringing together athletes and families with diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, physical abilities, and cultural traditions. The reality is, our service base has grown significantly in the past 10 years. And to ensure our award-winning programs can accommodate all deserving kids now and in the future, we need to expand our programs by investing in our leadership resources. next generation fund

    Through our Next Generation Fundraising Campaign, our goal is to raise $500,000, which will be used to maintain and grow our four base programs: PLUS for special needs athletes, soccer and basketball leagues and tennis program for children in underserved communities, and a sports and enrichment program for teen residents of the Youth Shelter of Westchester. In tandem, funds will be directed toward retaining top-quality leaders whose talent and passion will propel our programs and growth into the next generation of Backyard Sports Cares.

    The meaningful donations of our supporters will ensure that Backyard Sports Cares raises the capital required to effectively expand our programs, and recruit and retain an extensive leadership staff who will anchor our team for the next decade and beyond.

    next gen budget

    Please help us to continue to provide high-quality youth sports programming and unique socialization opportunities, that include:

    1. Giving 200 cognitively challenged children a safe space to enjoy sports and play
    2. Providing 400 under-resourced elementary school children their first opportunity to play in an organized soccer and basketball league for their schools and organizations with trained coaches, new equipment, and their very first uniform.
    3. Introducing 500 children without access or funds to their first tennis experience.
    4. Bringing physical education and recreational experiences such as yoga, skiing, hiking, and rugby to 20 teens in an alternative to incarceration residence in Mt. Vernon.
    5. Creating an event-based platform for socialization, geared to teens and young adults with special needs.
    6. Providing volunteer peer mentoring opportunities for hundreds of high school students to work with special needs and disadvantaged children.
    7. Providing over 100 coaches the opportunity to serve their community in a uniquely meaningful environment.

    From all of us at Backyard Sports Cares, thank you for your support and generosity.

    Gannett Grant Fever Simmers as BYSC Earns Finalist Standing for $25K award

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    Categories afterschool programs, inclusive sports, Soccer, basketball, under-served communities

    Backyard Sports Cares (BYSC) has earned finalist status to potentially win Gannett Media’s A Community Thrives grant. To qualify as a grant finalist, BYSC had to raise $3,000 via a Crowdrise Campaign. The organization has exceeded that goal by raising more than $4,000 in three weeks — four days in advance of the campaign cutoff. … Continue reading “Gannett Grant Fever Simmers as BYSC Earns Finalist Standing for $25K award”

    Timeout: BYSC brings a social dimension to PLUS Program for special needs athletes

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    Categories Community Social for Special NeedsTags ,

    In February, Backyard Sports Cares kicked off a new mission to expand socialization opportunities for teens and young adults who take part in the organization’s Sunday PLUS program for special needs athletes.  “Backyard Sports Cares is hoping to create a positive social relationship that goes beyond the court and playing field for children who grew … Continue reading “Timeout: BYSC brings a social dimension to PLUS Program for special needs athletes”

    BYSC Peer Mentor Shares Her Experience Volunteering with Special Needs Athletes

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    Categories Teen Mentors, Red Shirts, volunteer teen mentors, special needs sportsTags , , ,

    Emily Lattman is a senior at Scarsdale High School. When she’s not studying and hanging out with friends, she’s giving back to the community by volunteering her time as a peer mentor for Backyard Sports Cares PLUS program for special needs children. We caught up with Emily after last Sunday’s sports program and she talked … Continue reading “BYSC Peer Mentor Shares Her Experience Volunteering with Special Needs Athletes”

    BYSC Timeout: Sports for visually impaired kids and teens

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    Categories Teen Mentors, visually impaired

    When people hear sports for special needs kids, many think of kids with cognitive or developmental disabilities, such as autism, Down syndrome or cerebral palsy. The notion of sports for a blind or visually impaired child seldom comes to mind. In fact, according to the American Foundation for the Blind, nearly 70 percent of visually impaired … Continue reading “BYSC Timeout: Sports for visually impaired kids and teens”

    Brothers find connection through BYSC Program for Special Needs Athletes

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    Categories Red Shirts, volunteer teen mentors, special needs sports, Soccer, basketball

    James Fitzpatrick, former BYSC teen mentor and “Red Shirt” alum, comes back to visit PLUS program athletes, including his brother Kyle. We chatted with James Fitzpatrick this past weekend when he came to pick up brother, Kyle, from our Sunday program for special needs athletes. Now a Geometry and Spanish teacher at Iona Prep, James … Continue reading “Brothers find connection through BYSC Program for Special Needs Athletes”

    NY Knicks Youth Engagement Manager Talks About Empowering Kids Through Sports

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    Categories basketballTags ,

    Our Give Thanks Series continues with Kiki Campbell, manager of Youth Engagement and Fan Development for the New York Knicks. Kiki helps run a program called Junior Knicks, the New York Knicks youth basketball department. We asked her to share her experience in this role, her relationship with Backyard Sports Cares, and about the impact that … Continue reading “NY Knicks Youth Engagement Manager Talks About Empowering Kids Through Sports”

    Special needs peer mentor shares why he’s been a BYSC teen volunteer for 3 years

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    Categories special needs sportsTags , , ,

    It’s funny how the universe — and moms — seem to surface just what we need before we know we need it. Backyard Sports Cares volunteer peer mentor, Alec Greenwald, talks to us about his surprising experience working with special needs children and teens participating in BYSC Plus Program. WATCH our interview with BYSC teen … Continue reading “Special needs peer mentor shares why he’s been a BYSC teen volunteer for 3 years”

    How Charles DeFrancesco’s Special Needs Son Inspired Him to Launch Fit 4 Fun

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    Categories inclusive sports, special needs sportsTags , ,

    Charles DeFrancesco Aims to Forge a Fitness Path for All Abilities Backyard Sports Cares caught up with Charles DeFrancesco, a certified personal trainer and owner of the Arena,  a personal training facility located in White Plains. Charles recently launched a new program called Fit 4 Fun to provide kids with special needs a place to go … Continue reading “How Charles DeFrancesco’s Special Needs Son Inspired Him to Launch Fit 4 Fun”

    Good Sports removes barriers for kids who want to play

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    Categories At risk youth, under-served communitiesTags ,

    Since we are now officially in the month of giving thanks, we thought we’d take this opportunity to cast the spotlight on some amazing organizations that are really trying to move the needle when it comes to raising healthy and happy kids. Our first subject is Melissa Rundlett, partnership coordinator at Good Sports, a national … Continue reading “Good Sports removes barriers for kids who want to play”

    Dwight (Doc) Gooden Cheers on 150+ High School Students and Adults as they Compete to Raise $80K in Support of Backyard Sports Cares Programs for At-risk and Special Needs Kids of Westchester County 

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    Categories 3 on 3

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Lisa Kaslyn Prosper Communications lisa@prospercomm.com   Legendary NY Mets Pitcher, Dwight (Doc) Gooden, Cheers on Players – Shares Experience, Strength and Hope with Attendees and Teens from the Youth Shelter of Westchester Funds Raised will Continue to Support BYSC’ Vital Community Sports Programs Serving 3,000 Kids from the Youth Shelter of … Continue reading “Dwight (Doc) Gooden Cheers on 150+ High School Students and Adults as they Compete to Raise $80K in Support of Backyard Sports Cares Programs for At-risk and Special Needs Kids of Westchester County “

    Dedicated sponsors, donors, 150+ players, and Doc Gooden make BYSC 2018 3 vs. 3 Basketball Tournament a success

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    Categories 3 on 3

    Tournament raises $80,000 to support valued sports activity programs in Westchester benefitting thousands of at-risk and special needs kids Visit our Facebook Page to access our 3 vs. 3 event album and view images of the event, courtesy of Meagan Dwyer Sports Photography — And don’t forget to “like” us! “I am deeply grateful and … Continue reading “Dedicated sponsors, donors, 150+ players, and Doc Gooden make BYSC 2018 3 vs. 3 Basketball Tournament a success”

    Dr. Christina tells why sports are important for all kids — And role modeling is key!

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    Categories 3 on 3, special needs sports, At risk youth, under-served communities, fundraisingTags ,

    PM Pediatrics has been a community partner to Backyard Sports Cares for a number of years. Their contribution to the welfare of children and adolescent health and wellness in Westchester is matched by their time, commitment and generosity in helping foster the sports activity programs we provide to at-risk and special needs kids. We talked … Continue reading “Dr. Christina tells why sports are important for all kids — And role modeling is key!”