Having a ball

| 18 Oct 2012 | 01:16

— Richie and Cookie Gomm have worked in the community they love and value for over 40 years. Gomm's Tires in Hewitt, like many local businesses, has sponsored athletic teams throughout the years. This year, the couple decided to do something special for the hundreds of kids who play soccer through the Police Athletic League. Instead of accepting money from Michelin Tire to go toward advertising, the Gomms instead took their advertising in soccer balls. Four hundred and fifty of them.

"Ads in the paper are great but we figured it would be better to give back to the community," said Cookie Gomm.

And the community appreciates it.

Mark Minadeo, a member of the board of directors for the West Milford PAL, said he, the other board members and the soccer coaches are very grateful for the donation.

"This is tremendous," said Minadeo. "Not only does it help kids, but it allows the PAL to do more. This decreases our expenses so we can do more in programs."

In addition to recreational and travel soccer, the Police Athletic League also sponsors a basketball league, both recreational and travel, runs a pre-school program and hosts a tricky tray to raise funds to help support the programs. There is also a weekly Zumba class at the PAL building. Recently, PAL donated dirt from its property for the creation of the new pump track behind the recycle center off Lycosky Drive.

To the Gomms, it's just the right thing to do.

"Richie was born and raised here, we make our living here," said Cookie. "If we can give back, I'd much rather do something like this."