Sports and Helping Others is a Family Affair for the Spring's
Sacramento - When prominent labor attorney Mark Spring isn't representing California employers in cases involving discrimination and harassment, wrongful discharge, or union relations, he and his daughters might be found heading to the airport for an overseas destination to share their love of sports with underprivileged children. This summer, the Spring family logged more than 14,000 miles to meet their goal.
In July, the Partner from Carothers DiSante & Freudenberger LLP's busy Sacramento office, who was also a former college lacrosse player, packed up his two daughters Areille, 15, and Nicole, 13, and assorted lacrosse gear and headed for Israel to lend support to a lacrosse clinic sponsored by Israel Lacrosse. Once there, they shared their skills and knowledge of the game with a group of enthusiastic fifth and sixth graders from a children's home in Netanya, Israel.
"This has been a fabulous opportunity for my family to share its knowledge about one of our passions with others who might benefit from it as well. The bonus benefit comes from watching my own children grow as they experience the value of sharing, teaching, and making new friends in different cultures," says Spring.
Spring and his daughters, along with his wife Sheila, also traveled to the Jordan desert, where they informally introduced lacrosse to some local Bedouins. "I think the biggest smile I saw on the entire trip was when one of the local Bedouins successfully completed a catch and pass," commented daughter Arielle.
Upon returning from the Middle East, Spring and his daughter Nicole hung up their lacrosse sticks and grabbed some basketballs on their way to the beautiful Balkan country of Montenegro, where they participated in the Basketball Diplomacy Project. Spring worked as a volunteer coach and Nicole participated as one of the campers in the program. Now in its fourth year, the program draws high school students from throughout the Balkan region and uses basketball as a means to break down ethnic and religious differences between the participants - as they learn that they have a lot more in common than they realize.
In describing his experience, Spring commented, "It was one of the best weeks I have had in years. Nicole and I learned as much from the participants and they did from us. It has been very satisfying to watch the cross-border relationships continue over Facebook since we have returned, which makes it clear that the Project was a great success."
The Balkan Basketball Diplomacy Project is sponsored by the U.S. Embassy and Spring's alma mater, Georgetown University. Spring hopes to return in 2012. Not surprisingly, back at home in the Sacramento area, Spring maintains an active schedule of coaching high school basketball and youth lacrosse.
About the Firm:
Carothers DiSante & Freudenberger LLP is a 30-attorney employment law boutique firm that represents employers throughout California in employment litigation and counseling. The firm maintains offices in Sacramento, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego.