Bronx, NY: December is the last month of the year where most families are preparing for two of the biggest events of the year. The holidays that include, Christmas Eve, Christmas day and New Years Eve days dedicated to our families and friends. These are party days that we all are one way, or the other engulfed with. In my case it’s a bit more when I add that one of my daughters birthday is on December 24th, Christmas Eve.
This is the month where everyone is thinking about presents, shopping, buying, preparing for dinner parties, and events, all celebrating the holidays. This is also the month that we in Latino Sports commemorate the 21 Days of Roberto Clemente.
Some might ask why? This is definitely not baseball season? It’s not Clemente’s birthday, or significant day related to his glorious baseball career? So what is the 21 Days of Clemente?
We believe that Roberto Clemente’s contributions went well beyond the baseball diamond. Clemente who’s quote of: “If you have a chance to accomplish something that will make things better for people coming behind you and you don’t do that, you are wasting your time on this earth.” Say’s a lot.
Clemente did so much to not just help his native folks in Puerto Rico, but his impact was felt throughout the world. That is why there are more places, institutions, parks streets and plazas named after him in this planet than any other person. We in Latino Sports believe that Clemente’s legacy must never be forgotten and be an example to the generations of tomorrow. That is why we organized the 21 Days of Clemente in this month of December.
We invite school age children from first to twelve grades to volunteer and do anything on Clemente and submit to us by December 10th. Whatever they submit, a picture, drawing, composition, poem, anything will be exhibited for 21 days at Roberto Clemente State Park. We chose 21 days, as that was his uniform number 21 that he picked after the 21 letters of his full name, ROBERTO CLEMENTE WALKER.
We are proud to be commemorating our 17th annual 21 Days of Clemente and encourage all our readers to remember that on this same month in 1972 Roberto Clemente’s family life was disrupted when he learned that on December 23rd a devastating earthquake struck Nicaragua. From that day on Clemente was focused on helping to raise funds to help the victims in Nicaragua. So much so that he lost his life on December 31st, New Year’s eve when he boarded a plane to personally take the last load of supplies because he learned that much of the two previous plane load of supplies had never left the airport in Managua due to the corruption of the then government of, Anastacio Somoso. Thus Clemente personally took off on a bigger plane (that should have never received permits to fly) to take the last of the supplies to guarantee that they would go to where they were intended to help most, the poor people of Nicaragua.
We believe that the best way to honor his legacy is to have school age children learn about this great humanitarian and commemorate him with something they volunteer to do in his name.
Feel free to visit Roberto Clemente State Park in the Bronx from December 11th to the 31st. to see the exhibit. Also if you want your child, or any child to participate just feel free to take whatever they have directly to Roberto Clemente State Park and give to the Director, Ms. Francis Rodríguez.
We want to thank the folks at Roberto Clemente State Park, the New York Yankees, Bronx Borough President, Ruben Díaz Jr. and BronxCare for their support to this important project
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