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Undefeated East Palo Alto football team needs cash for championship

Original post made on Nov 27, 2013

The East Palo Alto Greyhounds, a group of 21 boys, have an unblemished 33-0 record this year, but the team is facing a cash crunch this year.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, November 27, 2013, 9:35 AM

Comments (28)

Posted by T
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 27, 2013 at 10:29 am

A minimum donation of five hundred dollars?

Posted by Hmm
a resident of Menlo Park
on Nov 27, 2013 at 10:39 am

I'm hoping that $500 minimum was a typo. Because it sounds like a good cause but if the organizers really think that's the minumum... Please correct if need be

Posted by Football fan
a resident of Menlo Park
on Nov 27, 2013 at 10:57 am

Great story! Great accomplishment! Congratulations to the coaches and the kids! Would love to help, but $500? No, it's not a typo. Just checked the Donation page. Yikes.

Posted by muttiallen
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 27, 2013 at 11:06 am

muttiallen is a registered user.

Parents in Palo Alto think nothing of donating $800+ to their already well-funded schools through PiE. I'm sure the Greyhounds will take whatever you want to give them, but putting a suggested donation that is high will make some people think about how much they can really afford to give. Let's help these deserving kids get to Florida!

Posted by FormerFootballer
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 27, 2013 at 11:11 am

What a great inspirational story...

However, the reporter totally missed the point about the fundraising. Much of the web page is a letter to foundations -- where the minimum being asked for was indeed $500.

Individuals can and should donate whatever they can. And the reporter also missed the fact that the donations are tax deductible !!

This article was not up to the usual high quality of the Weekly....

Posted by Palo Alto
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 27, 2013 at 12:15 pm

I like to donate to these types of organizations but often don't because I don't know what happens with the donated money if not enough is raised to make an event happen or if there is too much money raised, then where does the overage go, who decides, who is in charge?

Posted by baller
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 27, 2013 at 12:56 pm

To attend the pop Warner championship kids and coaches have to stay in the assigned disney wide world of sports complex, they get park hoppers and if you don't know this is big money to Disney during this week, greyhounds have a total of 21 kids, at 1500 per kid which consist of room plus round trip flight would total 31,000

Posted by baller
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 27, 2013 at 1:16 pm

If you click on the website that is provided within the article their is a breakdown of the cost to attend Florida

Posted by Eric Van Susteren
digital editor of Palo Alto Online
on Nov 27, 2013 at 2:26 pm

Eric Van Susteren is a registered user.

Thanks for your comments on this article. I spoke with Eric Stuart and he said the $500 donation target was indeed intended for foundations and that individual donors are welcome to donate whatever they feel comfortable giving. Please see the updated information in the article.

Thanks again!

Posted by Donated!
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 27, 2013 at 2:46 pm

The coach's phone number is on their web site, so if you want to donate and get more info about where the money is going etc., I'm sure he would be glad to hear from you and appreciate any help you can give. I hope people can help these kids get to Florida!

Posted by jardins
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 27, 2013 at 2:50 pm

Would Eric Van Susteren please get this story into the main part of the Palo Alto Weekly--printed edition--very soon. Perhaps as a cover story. These kids have worked so hard all year and they must get the funding they need, else they will get the message that their all-round efforts (academic, personal, as well as athletic) aren't appreciated.

And those efforts should be valued by all of us--people who're underprivileged making a big effort to overcome a whole load of obstacles that most of us have never had to experience.

There's a lot of disposable income at Stanford, and within commercial corporations, as well as individuals--let's all pitch in!!

Posted by Mike
a resident of Mountain View
on Nov 27, 2013 at 3:04 pm

Thirty thousand dollars? how many ipads would that buy? vs how many concussions? Geez they won 33 games, isn't that MORE than enough football fun for one year? If they go and lose, it's a failure, and if they go and win it still sends the wrong message about football, and exposes the kids to more injury. For what? So they can buy a tshirt that they can strut around in for a year? They aren't gonna get any scholarships based on Pop Warner.

It's a stupid idea, and I'd say the same if it were Los Altos parents doing it without a fund drive. Call me a grinch.

Posted by Rob
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 27, 2013 at 3:26 pm

This is a great community cause. The kids have worked hard for it from the ground up. It takes a lot of effort to make these championships and it shows an example of work ethic to the kids involved to work hard and contribute to a team. Eric has worked hard and put in a lot of time to build the program up.

We've sent many teams from the Knights over the years. This year, the Knights teams came up a fraction short of making the Nationals. The Knights have also contributed to help the Greyhounds hit their goals. When you count all of the volunteer hours that the coaches and assistants put in over the year, a 30k trip for ~30 people isn't a lot of money.


President, Palo Alto Knights Youth Football

Posted by Mary
a resident of Menlo Park
on Nov 27, 2013 at 3:39 pm

[Portion removed.]

This will bring hope to kids who need it. The community needs this game. Give what you can. That $500 donation was intended for foundations - not ordinary folk.

Happy Turkey Day to all!
Merry Mary

Posted by Darwin
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 27, 2013 at 4:13 pm

Ummmm. Pop Warner football teams play 33 games? Something is amiss here.

Posted by Disney spoiler
a resident of another community
on Nov 27, 2013 at 4:38 pm

I hate to be a spoiler in this, but these championship games are a ruse by Disneyworld to fill hotel rooms that would otherwise be empty during down weeks of early December. Disney figured out that if they created multiple superbowl championships and sent off invitations to pop warner teams throughout the country, they could fill up all their empty hotel rooms and get families, many of whom can't afford it, to spend money. Families have to stay the entire week, even if they are eliminated early, because they can't predict whether they are going to win or lose and so have to buy plane tickets in advance and also pay for hotel rooms. The coaches of all these teams should be ashamed of themselves for putting this on these families, whether they are from East Palo Alto or Palo Alto. There are so many superbowl championships during this week that they are completely meaningless and all the adults and probably many of the kids realize it. No one wants to tell the kids they can't go, but this opportunity to play in a "superbowl" can and does set back many families financially for a very long time. The price of plane tickets, plus hotel, plus meals, makes it a $3000 - $4000 expedition. Moreover, kids are out of school for a week. The coaches pretend like they are holding study hours when they are there, but they do not. I know all of this because my son went to one of these and if I had to do it again, I would absolutely not let him go. I say pat your kids on the back and congratulate them for a season well played and stay home and save your money for important things that actually matter like their education.

Posted by William
a resident of Menlo Park
on Nov 27, 2013 at 6:08 pm

I have watched this program for the last three years. Their ability to get so many kids focused and working hard amazes me every time I see them. The president and founder has a gift that allows him to connect with children from all backgrounds. The Greyhounds are surrounded by many wealthy cities that also have Pop Warner football/cheer/dance teams. The kids that participate in the program are usually kids that can't afford to play for Redwood City, Menlo Atherton or Palo Alto. The Greyhounds provide all of the uniforms, safety equipment and transportation for any child that wants to play regardless of their athletic ability or financial situation. No one is ever turned away. More importantly the Greyhounds monitor and demand equal effort in school. This trip is not just about playing football for these kids, it's reinforcing the message that hard work is the path to success. Most of their kids have rarely been outside of East Palo Alto, and the Greyhounds are their only option. The Greyhounds organization allows them to open their minds to possibilities they only dreamed. They also run a track and field program that has been very successful. Please join me in helping this wonderful organization

Posted by Michaun
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 27, 2013 at 6:29 pm

Also, please correct the record. They are 14-0. The score of the Regional championship game was 33-0.

Posted by macbaldy
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 27, 2013 at 8:06 pm

This kind of crowd-sourcing isn't new but the timing is their main obstacle. That may be why the $500 increment was chosen, to imply the rate of accumulation has to be somewhat sudden. The total isn't much for a few private businesses to contribute. This isn't meant to burden any individual, especially at a time when so many established, annual charity drives are in action. Wish them well, regardless of ability to help.

Posted by Former Athlete
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 27, 2013 at 8:43 pm

Having played sports at the highest level my advice to the team's coach is this; raise the money, skip the championship. Keep the money to fund better equipment and play locally. Youth travel sports is nothing but a scam, and a lucrative, highly profitable scam for the tournament promoters. Some of these boys probably has the talent to play D1 or even NFL ball, and of that subset a couple will have the drive and luck required. Whether they play in a long distance tournament will not matter in 7 to 10 years when they are draft eligible. But having great equipment for the next 7 to 10 years, and a solid local program that is well financed, will make a great impact on their future opportunities. There's plenty of time for fancy tournaments when they are 16-18 years old.

Posted by grant
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 27, 2013 at 9:14 pm

I just sent a donation----lets quit talking and help these good kids---they are learning many great life lessons and we need to help.

Posted by EPAMom
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 27, 2013 at 10:34 pm

I wanted to donate, but my Paypal account was empty as I haven't used it lately, and it wouldn't allow me to donate using a credit card alone. I'll try to send a check.
This is a wonderful program for the kids. They are excited and motivated. They wouldn't understand if adults decided the money would be better spent on equipment or something else. It would just become another disappointment, another situation where their lack of finances removed an opportunity that they had earned and hoped for.

Posted by PA
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 28, 2013 at 12:35 am

I am torn. On one hand it is a great reward for winning all 14 season games, but if the boys families are not there to cheer them on, then this experience would only add to the reality of their circumstances. I have been through this nonsense with my son's travel baseball. These bowls always seemed like a money making operations for the venue; they charged for entering the tournament, charged parents for the tickets, and overcharged for the food and drink. I know that our community will be blamed if these boys don't end up going to this kid's football bowl, but in reality it is just a costly football jamboree for 10 year old boys. The only winner here is Disney, first they invite the team and then charge $500 to participate and then require that the teams stay at their hotels only. I agree with a poster Former Athlete, a resident of Old Palo Alto, it may be so much better to use the money to build this program so that other boys from this community can benefit for years to come. On the other hand, this trip is a reward for a job well done last season. As I said, I am torn.

Posted by Julie
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 28, 2013 at 7:54 am

Learning to show up to practice, playing as a team, working hard...these are such important skills to learn and this founder clearly is helping them master other important skills. I immediately went and donated a modest amount. I don't care if this is part of Disneyland's marketing plan, this will be something these kids remember for ever and hopefully will use to motivate them in their work and other activities throughout their lives. I just wish football didn't involve so much violence to the body. Go Greyhounds!

Posted by EPAMom
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 28, 2013 at 10:34 am

I think Disneyland ought to pony up.

Posted by Cecil
a resident of another community
on Nov 28, 2013 at 10:46 am

"Since we were a new program there was a 4 year wait before our Association was eligible for national competition."

Whaaa??? Why the 4 year wait?

"fifteen to twenty times a year to overnight/long distance competitions."

Whoa. They play 15 to 20 times a year?

Who audits this? Who see the books?

Posted by Coach
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 28, 2013 at 11:36 pm

Coach is a registered user.

I have read all the comments posted and Respect everyone's Opinion about the football nationals! Minimum of $500 was for Corporate Sponsors. The editor was generous enough to edit the article after a phone call to me. You can donate if you would like (or not). THIS TRIP WILL HAPPEN! I grew up here. I know what its like! Every kid on this football team deserves the chance to go and have this Experience! We travel more than 15-20 times a year because we have a track & field team that runs 7 months out of the year! Our record is 14-0 not 33-0. We beat the East County Jets from the state of Washington in the Regional to advance to the Nationals. We know Disney is going to get their money, but our kids are going to remember this for the rest of their lives! They are going down as the First Ever from the 94303 to do it! Robbed them of this? ABSOLUTELY NOT! Thanks to all of you Who Do Believe in what's going on! This program is in to Changing Lives! #positivethinking THANKS FOR YOUR Comments, and if you have DONATED........Thanks for your SUPPORT!

Posted by That User Name is already
a resident of another community
on Dec 9, 2013 at 10:42 am

That User Name is already is a registered user.

Did they raise enough money?

What happened?

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