Second annual Team Humanity Games slated for June 16

TeamHumanity5Story by Keren Lee Dreyer  

During the First Annual Team Humanity Games in Brownsville, PA last June, participants from seven area communities battled each other in friendly games of dodgeball, tug-o-war, three legged races, and more, all in hopes of claiming the inaugural Team Humanity Games Trophy. That honor went to the community of Brownsville.

So this year, on Saturday, June 16 starting 8 a.m., the Monessen, Uniontown, California, Belle Vernon, Donora, and Washington communities will return for their shot at victory, a new and larger trophy, and a year’s worth of bragging rights.

Former NFL player, Team Humanity Athletic Apparel entrepreneur, and Team Humanity Games founder William James (Peterson, Jr.) of Brownsville, PA says of last year’s games “All in all it was fantastic. All the vendors had a great time, the kids all had a great time, the adults had a great time, and everyone was raving about it on social media.”

While the good-spirited competition among the communities during the games on that sunny day last June left many with fond memories, James relates a deeper purpose to those great times, saying “We want to start a conversation between the communities. We’re all dealing with the same things – lack of jobs, resources, and kids who have nothing to do and nothing to get into. What we’re looking to do is get our youth involved with things that take up their time, but also things that pique their interest and that they want to build upon.”

For example, according to James, this year’s Team Humanity Games “Raise it Up” 5k will help raise funds to revitalize Monessen’s 9th Street Park through the 9th Street Project. “The kids came down to Brownsville and made a collection (of garments) called ‘15062 All Things New.’ They put that tag line on hoodies, t-shirts, and hats they sold throughout the winter, and raised probably one thousand dollars. We’re looking to raise more funds for the 9th Street Project and all registration fees will go to that initiative.”

TeamHumanityWorking on projects like this benefits area children not only in fostering a sense of community pride, but also in helping develop functional skills. “They learn things about graphic design, screen printing, how to handle monies, and how to make web sites” James said. “The games are a way to highlight that – not just Monessen kids, it might be Charleroi kids – but it has to highlight something positive they’re doing in the community.”

Adding to the sense of community are a number of new, local sponsors that have signed on to this year’s games and will be represented during the event. These include Davis and Davis Attorneys at Law, with offices in Brownsville and Uniontown, Americon Construction in Brownsville, and Phil Gianetti Motors, also in Brownsville, to name a few. Team Humanity will “still put up a bulk of the funds” James said, further stating that his group chooses sponsors with “integrity, and that demonstrated they care about the community and care about what we do…It’s not so much about the monies, but more about having synergies with the corporations that the people coming to the games will know that this is a high class event. So when we choose people, we choose them for a reason.”

In addition to great sponsors, great food vendors, classic competitive games, and a DJ for entertainment, James has a line on several NFL players who may make the games, though he said “I’ll wait to give out names because of obligations” to mini camps.

TeamHumanity2“It was such a fun time seeing everybody compete, and we want to keep the same kind of energy,” James said. “It was fun, authentic, and you could sense the community spirit…It was good, clean fun and losers accepted their loss, winners were respectful, and that’s going to be exciting to see again.”

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May the best community win!