By Alan R. Madeleine
When Fallyn West, Head Coach of the Hamtramck High Lady Cosmos girls basketball team, first started searching for money to get her girls some T-shirts for warm-ups, it must’ve seemed like a half-court shot.
Turns out that, with the help of the Hamtramck Firefighters Local 750, she was able to practically walk it down the lane for the jam.
“I had an end-of-season meeting with my A.D., and then right after that I was driving out of the city, toward I-75, and saw the fire station,” West says. “I was inspired to stop in and talk to them.”
It turns out the firefighters were just coming back from a run. It also turned out they were quite approachable on the issue, West said.
“They were really nice. But, they did ask me to put the request in writing,” she continued. The fire station was the first place she thought to go to request a donation. Apparently, her instincts for this kind of thing are pretty good.
“I went to them because of what they stand for,” West says.
Once armed with a request in writing, it was an easier process to get the union to approve that request, notes Bill Diamond, Hamtramck Local 750 President.
“We ended up approving $500 as a donation to the Lady Cosmos,” Diamond went on. “Rather than the T-shirts they had requested, they’re going to end up getting full warm-up suits. Our logo will appear on their bags, as well as on the right shoulders of the suits.”
Asked what other things the union sponsors, he didn’t miss a beat.
“The MDA (Muscular Dystrophy Association) is, of course, our biggest recipient. On that note, we’re going to set up a table at every Hamtramck High home basketball game, the guys’ and the girls’ teams both, with our ‘Fill the Boot’ promotion.”
Additionally, the firefighters of Local 750 have been involved lately with the fight against cystic fibrosis, largely because of a toddler here in town who is stricken with the disease. Their charity golf outing on July 12 will generate money they hope can go straight to that family.
So, with all the angst over the city budget — especially firefighter and police compensation — one may wonder where the money is coming from, specifically?
Diamond says not to worry, that it comes from the firemen’s union dues.
“We have a general fund created from our collecting of dues,” he explained. “The way it works is, someone makes a motion at the meeting, and then we vote on it. It does make it easier when it’s presented to us in writing (as Ms. West did).”
For her part, West is simply grateful.
“It was a huge blessing from them,” she said.
As part of the deal, West volunteered herself and her students for once-a-month sessions reading to the grade-schoolers on such subjects as fire safety and “stranger danger,” beginning in the fall when school resumes.
Just about the time that the Lady Cosmos start heating up on the court — courtesy of their brand-spanking-new warm-ups.