The Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC) Chief Petty Officers Association paid the registration fees and covered uniform costs for this year’s four volleyball teams and flag football team at E.O. Green Junior High School in Oxnard, a school with which NBVC has a formal partnership agreement.
In all, 80 local youngsters — 60 volleyball players and 20 flag football players — benefited from the project.
“This partnership has far exceeded our expectations,” said Dave Castellano, assistant principal at E.O. Green. “With the budget cuts California schools have experienced, we would not have been able to finance the projects the base has helped us with, this being one of them.”
It cost $250 to register the five teams with the City of Oxnard Recreation and Community Services. The uniforms ran another $300.
As part of NBVC’s partnership with the school, Navy volunteers spend time with E.O. Green youngsters and help maintain the school. Several play basketball with students at lunchtime, and others helped spruce up murals on the school grounds.
Chief Logistics Specialist Carlos Lopez of Naval Supply Systems Command at NBVC said the association contacted Castellano to see how it could help, and the vice principal suggested the volleyball and flag-football project.
Lopez said the youngsters shook hands with the chiefs who brought the uniforms to school.
“They were very nice and appreciative,” he said.
The youngsters also made a large thank-you banner for the association and signed it with such messages as “Thank you for everything,” “We really appreciate it” and “They’re awesome!”
One was especially poignant.
“It’s nice to have someone who cares,” it read.