EquipkidsMelissa Dominach and Bailey Taft with Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna, left, and Councilman John Curley.

Last month, redbankgreen featured Bailey Taft and Melissa Dominach, seventh-graders from the Knollwood School in Fair Haven who had launched a non-profit enterprise to collect sports equipment for needy kids in Red Bank.

Seriously. With some parental help, the 12-year-olds created a non-profit entity called Equipment for Kids and started drumming up donations of used shin guards, soccer balls, cleats —anything they thought might be useful to the kids enrolled in programs run by Red Bank Parks & Rec.

Melissa and Bailey are apparently quite persuasive. They’ve now collected more than 1,200 pieces of gear, and have no plans to stop.

“We got five bikes that we didn’t even ask for,” said Melissa, not to mention sponsorships from some pretty big names in sports retailing: Athlete’s Alley in Shrewsbury and the chains: Dick’s Sporting Goods, Modell’s and Sports Authority. “Now we hope to expand.”

Last night, the Red Bank borough council honored the pair in a brief ceremony. Councilman John Curley, the governing body’s liaison to parks & rec, said their “magnificent” efforts had made a difference to dozens of kids who are sometimes too embarrassed by their needs to go out for a team.

“The love that they extended will be reflected in the happiness of others,” said Mayor Pasquale Menna.

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