BINGHAMTON, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – Dick’s Sporting Goods is building yet another store in our area, this one an homage to its history, a tribute to a longtime employee and family member and a celebration of youth and sports.
The Sports Matters Foundation, the charitable arm of Dick’s, is funding an immersive and interactive exhibit at the Discovery Center.
This week, dozens of volunteers from Dick’s helped to break down the traveling Bug Squad attraction to make way for the new permanent exhibit.
Money for the displays came from donations made in honor of Tim Myers following his death nearly two years ago.
Myers was a long time company executive and husband of Kim Myers, daughter of founder Dick Stack.
The indoor exhibit will include a replica of Stack’s original store, an indoor putting green, an area for children to experience fishing, a multi-sport simulator and lockers with various sporting equipment for children to try on.
Kim Myers says that when she had to decide how to use the memorial funds, the Discovery Center was a natural fit.
“Dick’s Sporting Goods started here and I love that our community has a sense of pride in that. But the Discovery Center is such a source of pride in this community. As a matter of fact, back when we only had a couple of stores, at Christmas time, we would have our employee children’s Christmas party here at the Discovery Center. So, there’s a long relationship between the Discovery Center and Dick’s Sporting Goods and my family.”
Outside in the Story Garden, the other portion of the Dick’s contribution is already under construction.
Called the Chipping Experience, it will give children and their caregivers an opportunity to practice their pitching into a series of holes, all of which will return the ball back down to them.
It will also feature a memorial plaque honoring Tim Myers who worked for the company for 49 years.
Discovery Center Executive Director Brenda Myers, no relation, says Dick’s and her organization share similar goals.
“We’re both committed to athletics and sports for children. We’re committed to fitness for children. So, bringing that core theme from Sports Matters here to the Discovery Center is something that our children are going to love.”
Dick’s volunteers managed to finish what was supposed to be a week-long cleanout in just two days.
On Monday, eight separate contractors will begin the process of building the indoor exhibit with a goal of hosting a ribbon cutting during the week of this year’s Dick’s Sporting Goods Open which is scheduled to begin on June 19th.