It was a close call determining who had more fun breaking in new sporting equipment Tuesday afternoon at the : the firefighters or the kids.
Several members of the Murrieta Firefighters Association, as well as Murrieta Fire Chief Matt Shobert, were on hand to present more than $1,000 worth of soccer, tennis and basketball equipment to the club.
Firefighters assembled and wheeled two full-size basketball hoops to the adjacent tennis court, with several kids already in tow.
It wasn't long before firefighters engaged in passing and shooting the brand-new balls around with the kids, while others hit tennis balls back and forth.
Club Director Sheena Watkins looked on with a smile on her face.
Watkins said the clubhouse, part of Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest County, serves at least 150 Murrieta youth each day. She said she quit allowing the kids to play basketball on the courts at nearby because it was hard to keep an eye on them.
The kids need to be outdoors engaging in such activities, but the club's athletic supplies have been running low, Watkins said.
"As a nonprofit, we were definitely getting to the point of running low," Watkins said.
"The Fire Department already does so much for our community," she said, appreciatively.
With their own hoops now, they can play whenever they want, whether its wheeling them over to the tennis courts or parking them on cement in front of the club. Watkins plans to bring the hoops in each night to keep them safe.
Firefighter/Paramedic Vincent Cicconi said he approached the association about donating the equipment when he learned of the club's need.
Cicconi said he initially visited the club because the association is looking for families to help this Christmas season. During a conversation with Watkins, he discovered this was another way they could help.
Firefighter/Paramedic Rob Godinho said the association selects different organizations each year to help.
"Every time there is going to be a large donation, we take a vote," Godinho said. "This was a slam dunk."