Fifth Annual “Just Play Day” October 14 at Winston Wells Ball Field



Get ready for a day of positive competition, games and fun onWinston Wells Ball Field in Cruz Bay on Monday, October 14.

The non-profit organization Using Sport For Social Change, in conjunction with the St. John Community Foundation and the Department of Sports, Parks and Recreation, will host the fifth annual free Just Play Day! on October 14 starting at 12 p.m.

All youth between the ages of five and 17 are invited to come out for a fun-filled day of sports and fitness with field games, trophies and medals, free T-shirts and water bottles, a guest speaker and great music.

Pre-registration is required and parents are encouraged to sign their children up early. To register, visit Volunteers — to help keep score and help keep the kids moving in the right direction — are needed as well.

Once again this year, Mathayom Private Chefs/St. John Catering will be providing lunch to all participants and volunteers. Also back at this year’s event will be Brenda Reckor-Wallce, who has agreed to take care of the day’s emcee duties, and DJ Adonis, who will be providing great music to keep everyone moving.

The guests of honor this year are literally responsible for providing the ground upon which the event will be hosted. Charlie Palminteri, along with his mother Laura Palminteri, will be honored for their vision and hard work ensuring the seeding and watering of Winston Wells ball field.

Charlie Palminteri created the plan to clean and upgrade the Cruz Bay field as part of a Gifft Hill School fourth grade class project. The plan was so impressive, however, school officials and eventually government officials, took notice. The plan got the go-ahead from Department of Sports, Parks and Recreation officials and with a team of volunteers, Palminteri oversaw the field’s improvement this summer.

Now that the grass is growing and the field is green, students of all ages will enjoy running, playing soccer and more on Winston Wells ball field during the fifth annual Just Play Day!

The event is the brainchild of Using Sport for Social Change (USFSC) founder Dean Doeling, who was inspired to improve sports opportunities for local children during a Love City vacation in 2008.

Walking through Cruz Bay during that vacation, Doeling, who lives in Oregon and is a senior production artist with Nike, saw a few kids in Winston Wells ball field kicking around a flat soccer ball. With the goal of providing sports equipment to local students, Doeling created USFSC and hosted the first Just Play Day! in 2009.

Since then, Doeling and USFSC — which enjoys support from Nike, but is not a program of the sports wear corporation — has donated more than 1,000 basketballs, footballs, soccer balls and more to St. John schools and sports organizations.

Doeling has also handed out hundreds of sneakers, bags, water bottles, T-shirts and more at the Just Play Day! events, which foster competition in a positive environment and encourage health and fitness as well as community spirit.

Working with the Global Backpack Project, Doeling has also given away hundreds of backpacks filled with school supplies to local students over the past two years. This year he’ll be back at it again during the week of October 7, distributing free backpacks to Julius E. Sprauve School students.

It’s not too late to volunteer, sponsor or register for the event. For more information about sponsoring, go to Lean more about how to register or volunteer at

See you on October 14 at Winston Wells ball field for the fifth annual free Just Play Day!