Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Giving Kids a Chance

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Giving Kids a Chance

Article excerpt

The staff at the Broadway Community Center in Camden was happy to help.

They told Lexi Serek they'd send someone out to unload her donation of used softball equipment.

Then they saw how much there was.

"They were like, 'We are going to need more people,' " Serek said. "They were so grateful, and they said they wanted it all. It was snowing that day, and after we got inside, we were talking about the weather. And they said I brought the sun to the community center that day."

Serek, a 16-year-old junior at DePaul, knows that she has been blessed with the opportunity to play sports and have all the equipment she wants. She also knows that there are young people not as fortunate as she is.

So the Wayne native founded her own non-profit organization, "For The Love of the Game," and has begun collecting used softball equipment. It is then catalogued, refurbished when possible and donated to a community in need.

"It's great to see her give back and how it's connected to sports and athletics," said DePaul softball coach Sue Parler. "Lexi is a special kid. I have never seen a kid more driven."

Serek's upbringing isn't all that unusual in North Jersey, but her ability to bring the sunshine is.

She is the middle of three daughters, who all play or played softball. Her name is Alexandra, but she goes by Lexi. She is 5 feet 3 with an easy laugh and wide streak of kindness.

Serek always has been active. At DePaul, she played volleyball her first two years, and this past winter, she went out for the bowling team just because it was shorthanded and she wanted to join.

"I love being a part of a team," Serek said. "I love getting to have 12 other friends, and we all work together towards a common goal. We all practice hard. We push each other and we also pick each other up. I love that about sports."

Softball has been her main game, and she plays year-round. She is a utility player, capable of playing almost any spot in the infield and some outfield. Parler said Serek has a good bat, but she is not a regular in the lineup for the Spartans (14-4), who play Passaic Tech today in the Passaic County tournament semifinals. …

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