Volunteer-Based Lacrosse and Field Hockey Program for Cumberland County Youth Seeks to Expand

Members of STS at an indoor lacrosse game. (Photo retrieved from Small Town Sticks, Inc. Facebook page.)

MILLVILLE, N.J. — Small Town Sticks, Inc., also known as STS, is a relatively new recreational field hockey and lacrosse program for boys and girls in Kindergarten through 8th grade who are based in Cumberland County.

Started by Corrine Veight in May 2019, the STS program exists to grow the game of field hockey and lacrosse throughout the local community and create a positive environment for youth who might not otherwise have a chance to play these organized sports. Veight tries to keep the cost to join low, to reduce the financial barrier-to-entry that often comes with joining a program like this.

Veight is currently looking to expand the program throughout Cumberland County — as it mostly serves youth in the Millville area at the moment. At various times throughout the year, STS offers free clinics for anyone who is interested. Parents and kids are welcome to come out and see if the sport is something they would like to participate in.

According to Veight, STS offers developmental clinics, summer camps, travel teams, indoor leagues, and more for children and teens enrolled in the program. Her goal is to give players an opportunity to learn about — and grow a passion for — field hockey and/or lacrosse, but also to encourage kids to learn the importance of leadership, communication, responsibility, and teamwork. This is a volunteer-based program, and the coaches who give their time to it strive to be positive role models for the players they work with.

STS members playing field hockey. (Photo retrieved from Small Town Sticks, Inc. Facebook page.)

Connecting with local kids through sports is something that runs in Veight’s family — she says she is following in her grandmother’s footsteps and hopes to make as big of an impact on young athletes as she did — and considering that her grandmother, Claudia McCarthy, was a coach at Millville High School for 49 years, Veight has some big shoes to fill.

Additionally, the STS staff is currently planning a trip to Panama so the programs’ players can experience another country’s culture first-hand, and see what life is like for people in another country. The trip will allow players to serve the community they visit with various projects, interact with locals, and teach the game of field hockey and lacrosse to others over the course of a week.

There are also plans to implement a scholarship fund for players in the program to be rewarded for their hard work and dedication on the field and within their community. Players will be able to use these funds toward their registration fees for the various events offered throughout the year.

And with money raised through fundraisers and donations, STS can provide equipment for those who are in need and do not have the means to purchase their own. The STS family works together to support their community by participating in the annual Out of the Darkness Walk and coordinating multiple donation drives throughout the year for those in need.

Two important drives STS players are currently working on include: collecting donations for animals in need at the ASPCA, and collecting items for cancer patients at the Cancer Pavilion located in Vineland. (See below for a list of items being collected.)

Anyone interested in donating to any of the drives STS is working on should contact Corrine Veight before Feb. 28 by calling: (609) 805-5162. More information can be found on the STS website and Facebook page.

Donations needed for the ASPCA:
• Dog and Cat Toys (new) (Tennis Balls, jingle balls, ping pong balls, rope toys, etc.)
• Dog Food and Cat food (wet or dry) (unopened)
• Kongs (new)
• Collars and leashes (all sizes)
• Paper towels and paper grocery bags
• Creamy peanut butter (NOT CONTAINING XYLITOL)
• Unsweetened pureed pumpkin
• Cat treats and Soft Dog Treats (Beggin’ strips, Pup-peroni) (unopened)
• Oats (unopened)
• Catnip
• Cat litter

Donations needed for the Cancer Pavillion:
• Mints, gum
• Tissues
• Warm socks
• Chapstick
• Unscented lotion
• Coloring books / word search books