As some students in Schoharie County wait for their school to be cleared of muck and damage inflicted by Tropical Storm Irene, the varsity football team at Broadalbin-Perth is leading an effort to send them much-needed supplies.
At tonight’s game against Schalmont, the team is encouraging fans to bring donations of school supplies, athletic gear, personal and home supplies for flood victims in Schoharie County.
But since the team first announced the initiative last week, donations have already poured in — from students, faculty, staff, community members and even Schalmont fans in Rotterdam.
“It’s a great thing to see our community coming together here in Broadalbin,” said Broadalbin-Perth head football coach Jim Pelneau. “They’ve done a fantastic job of just rallying and supporting a cause.”
School officials hope that by the end of tonight’s game, they will have filled an entire tractor-trailer with supplies ranging from backpacks and soccer balls to deodorant and socks.
Donations will be collected from 4 to 9 p.m. tonight at Patriot Field behind the high school on Bridge Street.
Anyone who brings an item to donate will receive free admission to the game.
“If we can teach our kids in the football program about being community leaders and taking charge, then it’s a good community lesson for them as well,” Pelneau said.
“It’s been a really good thing so far.”
Buanno Transportation provided a tractor-trailer Thursday to allow the community to store donations before the game.
It will transport them to Schoharie Central School District, where items will then be distributed to families in need.
The Patriots have no ties to the residents of Schoharie County, other than a desire to help out their neighbors, Pelneau said.
“You see a school district getting hit like that — they had a delayed opening, their sports team is being affected by it, their academics are being affected — we just wanted to make sure they could get a helping hand from us,” he said.
Adam Barnhart was one of several school athletics officials to discuss as a group the recent devastation to nearby communities after Irene. The physical education and athletics director said Broadalbin-Perth always pushes its athletes to help out not just their own community, but others as well.
“We just kept brainstorming and thought, if we run this through the football program it can teach them the lesson to help and give back,” Barnhart said. “[Pelneau’s] idea was it could have been our school and we would hope somebody would help us. So we should step up and do it.”
Despite a few transportation problems, school opened Monday for students in the Schoharie Central School District.
In nearby Middleburgh, students won’t begin the school year until Monday as volunteers and staff continue to clean up the district’s high school and middle school.
“The first thing we heard was that Schoharie was hit real hard,” Pelneau said. “And we knew the opening of their school was delayed a little bit so we figured it would be a nice gesture to focus on one school district that’s close to us and help them get back on their feet as best as we can.”
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Categories: Schenectady County