Last minute fundraising campaign gives Richmond’s Steelers Cadets football team shot at national title
on November 29, 2014
While families across the Bay Area celebrated Thanksgiving, Richmond’s Steelers Cadets football team had an extra reason for thanks: they’ll be heading to Florida next week to compete in the national youth football tournament.
Although the Steelers Cadets played well all season and won the NorCal title with an 11-1 record, a trip to the championships seemed in doubt.
Steelers Cadets head coach Will Bryant said they didn’t have the funds to go to Florida. $600 per player seemed like a stretch for the team to come up with by Dec. 1st.
“You say $600 to one of my parents, that’s rent, groceries, that’s everything for the month,” Bryant said.
But Bryant didn’t stop there. “I really want to take the boys out for them to see something other than what they see around here in Richmond on a day to day,” he said. “I want them to get a sense of being able to leave from here and to go play football somewhere else like you would do in college.” The players range in age from 8 years old to 10.
So the team and head coaches set up a GoFundMe.com account with the goal of raising $20,000 in donations to pay for the trip for the 27 players. They received a round of initial contributions, but not enough. With Dec. 1st quickly approaching the team still needed nearly $18,000 to make it to Florida.
Coverage by tv news station KTVU made the difference. After a news report on the team brought wider attention to their money needs, on Thanksgiving eve the Steelers Cadets woke up to a GoFundMe.com account that had not only met its $20,000 goal, but exceed it by nearly $9,000.
Although the Steelers Cadets have been around for over 40 years, this will be their first trip to Florida. The team leaves Dec. 5th.
“We want a championship!” said Steelers Cadets quarterback Nehemiah Jacques. “My team deserves to go to Florida and win and get that trophy.”
Check out how much money the Steelers raised here: http://www.gofundme.com/gnj9zk
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