Area Youth Football Leagues Get Help For Uniforms

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Some young football players and cheerleaders in Luzerne County got some much needed help in making sure they will have a season this year.

Monday night two checks were given to the Northwest Area Junior Football League after money for new uniforms was reportedly stolen.

“This check for $2,000 to defray the costs of the uniforms,” said Jesse Turner with the American Legion Post 495.

It was a double dose of help for the Northwest Area Junior Football League as two checks were presented to the new board president here at the Hunlock Creek Fire House near Shickshinny.

These checks were to help replace the more than $15,000 that was allegedly stolen from the league; money that was intended to purchase new uniforms.

“We`ve had a lot of donations from small amounts to large amounts, it`s unbelievable how a little community can come together and support us like this,” said new board president Thomas Swiatek.

Last month, former league president Mary Kramer was arrested on charges she took that money from the league`s general and uniform accounts over a course of roughly a year.

The American Legion of Shickshinny donated $2,000 and the 2013 graduating class of Northwest Area High School gave roughly $1,100.

“We all played for this team before, a lot of my friends, I did and the split second we heard this we had to do something about it, “said Peter Fino who presented the check on behalf of his class.

“My granddaughter, she was a cheerleader for three years,” said Turner.  “As soon as we heard it we knew we had to help.”

The checks were handed over as parents and young athletes came out to sign up for the season, starting later this month.

There were fears that without new uniforms, there wouldn't be a season.

Now league officials say they will have those uniforms ready to go.

“Very, all my friends are really happy that we might have another year,” said cheerleader Julie Nafus.

“So hopefully going to have a good season, new uniforms and we`re going to move on,” said Swiatek.

The president says all the cheerleading uniforms have been ordered and purchased and about half of the football uniforms have been taken care of.

The first practice is on July 15th.