Brookside Community Play is back on after donations pour in following theft

Local

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Brookside Community Play was filled with gratitude Tuesday night for having all new sports equipment. 

Around 150 kids and families came out for the free event, which helps those in the community overcome trauma through sports.

The event had music playing and featured 10 different relay stations set up throughout the park. 

But all eyes were on the donated trailer in the parking lot filled with donated basketballs, soccer balls, hula hoops and nets. 

It’s a long way from where Brookside Play was 10 days ago.

Their trailer and $20,000 worth of equipment was stolen. 

Following News 8’s story about the theft, Brookside Play received more than $40,000 in donations

Brookside Play staff said they’re still in the process of replacing all the stolen items but were thankful Tuesday night’s first summer event was able to take place. 

For kids in the neighborhood, Brookside Play is about new friends, competing and playing.

“Well it’s exciting, especially when you get to get your energy out,” said Isaiah Freaner, a newcomer to Brookside Play. 

For parents, its about safety.

Tonya Bledso has been in the neighborhood for 15 years. She has 29 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. She says almost all 29 of her grandchildren have come to Brookside Play in the three years since it started. 

“Every year they have play. It gives the kids something to do after school and after school is out too. And that way they won’t be out on the streets with all the drama and everything, and they can just have fun and be kids,” said Bledso. 

Tuesday night, though, everyone celebrated Brookside Play and the generosity of their community.

Donations for Brookside Play are still coming in and staff says they need volunteers to help run a summer day camp they can now afford to expand. 

Brookside Community Play runs every Tuesday through July. 

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