'I love to see the kids smile and have fun'

Published 7:49 am Monday, August 14, 2006

By By Matthew Nascone
It all started in 2002 at the end of the season. Debra Kidd was just like any other Babe Ruth Softball League mom, she watched her daughter play and when the game was over, so was her obligation to the league.
But then at closing ceremonies she was asked to become more than just a parent, she was asked to become a board member.
"I said 'Why not?' because I was already there for every game anyways," Kidd said.
What Kidd was not expecting was to be nominated and chosen as the successor to Debra Daniels as the league's secretary in 2003.
"I didn't intend on being on the board, but I knew they needed help," she said. "My first intention was to help out and do what I could for the league."
Kidd is a 1984 graduate of Escambia County High School. She was part of the flag corps during the 1983 state championship season for the Blue Devils football team.
"That was a great experience and to have it happen in my senior year is even better," Kidd said. "I wouldn't trade anything for it."
The desire to be involved with Atmore softball began when Kidd's 20-year-old daughter Makeyia Burt first wanted to play softball 13 years ago. Kidd said the love of the game started then and she has been a part of the league ever since. And there is one main reason she said she continues to help out.
"I love to see the kids smile and have fun," she said. "It is not about losing, it is about having fun."
The balance of time that must occur between working 8 to 5 at Bondurant Lumber and Hardware and being secretary for Atmore Babe Ruth is something Kidd said keeps her very busy. She is especially busy now that her other daughter, 11-year-old Jasmine Ireland, is a player in the league.
And softball is not the only sport that Kidd has to pay attention to. Her 17-year-old son Demetrious Bankston is a junior football player and track athlete for the Escambia County Blue Devils.
"Between my job, softball, football and track, I stay pretty busy," Kidd said.
She said she will always support her son in whatever he does, but softball is still her first love.
"I played softball when I was young and I love to see the girls come together and play as a team out there," Kidd said.
She may not be a coach in the league, but Kidd has had her share of coaching moments over the years and she said one event in particular was special for her.
"Jasmine played on the Balers with a little girl named Stacy George in 2004 and Stacy would always strikeout and get down about it," she said. "So I told her not to worry about it, that Jasmine strikes out all the time and it is no big deal. It worked because when she hit that ball for the first time she was so stunned she did not go towards first. I had to yell 'Go Stacy, go!' But to see her face light up like that, that is what is so great about this job."
She may be a successful woman doing her part in the league, but she said the best moment in her life was watching her daughter Makeyia graduate from Jefferson Davis Community College this past year.
"I saw her up there and I thought I was in another world," Kidd said. "And then I thought 'I am getting old.' But overall I was very proud of her."
Makeyia was a scholarship softball player at JD and Kidd said she uses that as an example when she is talking to the girls in the Atmore league.
"I try to keep the girls focused and I tell them they can pave the way to a good future for themselves through softball," she said.
And that is part of the way Kidd lives her life, in service for other people.
"I am just here to help out and if someone needs help, I will do what I can," Kidd said.

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