Saugus Union School District P.E. teacher on special assignment Samantha Ford helps students with their stretches at the start of P.E. class at Highlands Elementary in Saugus on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017. Katharine Lotze/Signal
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someonePrint this pageShare on RedditShare on Google+

Samantha Ford, a Saugus Union School District (SUSD) physical education Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA), was selected to throw the first pitch at the 40th Annual City of Santa Clarita Dodger Day May 20.

“It’s such an honor,” Ford said.  “It’s crazy.  I didn’t expect any of this to happen.”

Ford was selected to throw the first pitch because of her efforts in organizing a shoe drive to bring new athletic shoes to her students.

“We were looking for a guest of honor to throw the first pitch and Samantha immediately came to mind for her amazing charitable work,” said Patrick Downing, Santa Clarita’s Arts and Events supervisor in a press release.

Saugus Union School District P.E. teacher Samantha Ford sits among the shoes she gave out to students on Dec. 14, 2016. Katharine Lotze/Signal

Ford began the shoe drive in December 2016 when she noticed that some students at Cedarcreek Elementary School were wearing rundown and incorrectly-sized shoes to gym class.

“My goal is to get kids up and moving and they need good shoes to do that,” Ford told The Signal in December.

Since the shoe drive launched four months ago, Ford has collected nearly 1,000 shoes from friends, community members, professional athletes, non-profit groups, companies, organizations, churches and individuals across the country.

Her goal is to outfit every SUSD student in need, from Transitional Kindergarten (TK) to sixth grade, with a new pair of athletic shoes so they can exercise and play safely.

A student wears the shoes she received from P.E. teacher Samantha Ford’s shoe drive at Cedarcreek Elementary in Canyon Country on Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016. Katharine Lotze/Signal

“I’m on my last school,” she said of her current efforts at Rio Vista Elementary School.  “I have about half of the shoes I need.  I still need about 200 more pairs.”

This will be the second time Ford, a former softball player and coach, will throw a ceremonial first pitch at Dodger Stadium.

Several years ago she had the opportunity to throw an underhand pitch to former Los Angeles Dodger leftfielder and pinch hitter Manny Mota, who she struck out.

“People ask, ‘Are you going to throw it underhand or overhead?’” she said.  “I’ve already done underhand so I’m going to go traditional this time.”

Saugus Union School District P.E. teacher on special assignment Samantha Ford passes out tennis balls for a paddles and raquets game at Highlands Elementary in Saugus on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017. Katharine Lotze/Signal

Santa Clarita residents can watch Ford throw the first pitch and attend the May 20 game versus the Miami Marlins, by purchasing tickets online at SCVDodgerDay.com.

Ticket prices range from $29 to $85 and attendees will receive a free Dodgers pullover while supplies last.

“I hope everyone comes out,” Ford said.  “It’s a super fun night and it’s great for the community to come together.”

ccox@signalscv.com
661-287-5575
On Twitter as @_ChristinaCox_

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someonePrint this pageShare on RedditShare on Google+
Christina Cox
Christina Cox is a multimedia journalist covering education, community and breaking news in the Santa Clarita Valley. She joined The Signal as a staff writer in August 2016.
Comments
By commenting, you agree to our terms and conditions.