Everyone knows the basic work of the LVPPA. Our primary direction is representing our officers and negotiating the Collective Bargaining Agreement. While those are two of the main pillars of what we do, we also have the opportunity to do a lot of good in the community. We have done rewards for Nevada Reading Week, book drives, toy drives and countless donations to charitable organizations like Special Olympics, Down Syndrome of Nevada, Project 150 and the Epilepsy Foundation.
As we continue to find new ways to make an impact in our community, one of the organizations we work with is Challenger Little League. 2019 marked the second year we were involved with them and were honored to be invited to their award ceremony. The Challenger Division is Little League’s adaptive baseball program for individuals with physical and intellectual challenges. The local chapter is run by retired LVMPD Corrections Officer Thomas Taycher. Thomas and his wife and staff devote all their available time to this amazing league and its players and families.
In 2018, the LVPPA did our first sponsorship of the league. At the end of the season, I was able to attend their awards ceremony and was fully immersed in the great things the league does. I was able to meet our sponsored team, the LVPPA Deputies, and assist in handing out their medals and awards for the season. After leaving the ceremony, I told the Executive Board that we needed to increase our contribution to this amazing cause. In 2019, we did just that! Brian Grammas attended the 2019 awards ceremony with me, as he and I have always shared a love for sports. During the ceremony, Brian was able to experience the same amazing things I had experienced the previous year. We left with an expanded vision for the 2020 season that will go far beyond a simple donation.
What is amazing about this league is the true spirit of sports. There are plenty of great people out there, young and old, who have a disability and just want a chance to play the game of baseball. This league provides that! It used to only cater to kids under 18 years of age, but Thomas recognized that he couldn’t turn away the players who wanted to continue playing baseball just because they aged out. So he opened up the older division as well, to allow all people with special needs to still be able to participate.
For the 2020 season, the LVPPA will be asking some of our officers to assist us in one specific project for the league. If you are interested in helping or donating to this great cause, please feel free to reach out to me. Enjoy the photos of the kids I’ve included with this article, and recognize that the LVPPA loves giving back to our community. I believe that when we are put in positions to help others, we should jump at the chance.
I want to thank all of our members for allowing me to be your president so I can make some of this happen. There is no greater gift than to help others. Thank you all for your membership and friendship. Be safe!