For more than 17 years, Mark Hammond has worked tirelessly to better the lives of the citizens of his community. As a resident of Hopkinton, Rhode Island, Hammond recognized the need for greater recreational opportunities for children and the need for guidance and leadership in such efforts. In response to this need, Hammond founded the nonprofit organization, the Crandall Park Community Project, 13 years ago which focuses on the development and improvement of recreational facilities in Hopkinton.
Through his dedicated leadership efforts, this organization built a state-of-the-art playground at a cost of $80,000 and is now working to incorporate a handicap accessible play area. In addition, the Project facilitated the construction of two basketball courts and a baseball diamond. As a result, Crandall Park has become a major attraction for families in Hopkinton and the surrounding areas.
In the interest of the Hopkinton’s young children, Hammond also instituted a tee-ball league for children who are 4 to 8 years old. He secured funding for the league through the town, held registrations, produced schedules, and rallied the enrollment of volunteer coaches. He also served as a coach over the years. This league has been active since 1993, and is going strong with 26 teams.
Hammond has donated a great deal of his time as a player agent in Chariho (an RI multi-town region) Little League and Senior League baseball. He has also been a player agent for Hopkinton’s Youth Basketball League, and over the past 16 years has developed the basketball program into one of the largest in the area featuring 47 teams. Hammond continues to hold leadership positions and coaches in both leagues. Over the years, he has demonstrated his unwavering dedication to these youth-oriented programs. For example, when there were no volunteers to coach the 4- and 5-year-olds in basketball last winter, Hammond volunteered to coach them every Saturday morning at 8:00 a.m., even though none of his own children were playing in that division.
Hammond has also served many years on the Hopkinton Recreation Commission and has spent the last two years as Chair of that Commission. One of the projects that he has led is the revitalization of Langworthy Park in Hope Valley, RI. Under his leadership, the Commission serves as advisors on all recreational programs and events for the town of Hopkinton.
Hammond is married with 3 children ages 13, 18, and 21. He first became a volunteer through his involvement as an active and caring father; however, his dedication has far exceeded that of most parents. In 2002, Mr. Hammond received the Settimo “Stemer” Ricci Award from the Rhode Island Parks and Recreation Association. He also received recognition from his peers and supervisors with the NUWC Community Service Award two years ago.