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Helmet Kisses: A Dear Football Mom column by Candy A. Westbrook
Westbrook

Dear Football Mom,

Our parents’ peewee booster club is falling apart. There are only a handful of members, and every family represented who does volunteer seems to be over it and leaving in droves for another association. The burn out for the few parents who are still here is overwhelming, including me. They won’t sign up to fill leadership positions for next year, so we can’t get any officers elected. Most teams have had a losing season. I fear, next year we won’t have any players who will want to play on our league or parents who will participate in our association. Why am I working so hard to keep it together?


Maybe because you care and aren’t a quitter? Boy howdy, nobody is having fun on losing teams. Sounds to me like it may be time to reevaluate, but without knowing more information, not too certain my puny advice will help. I sure will try, and I respect you for not quitting. If nothing else, your sons or daughters do see your tenacious example. So, take heart in that. Goooo, Mom!   

Try checking into what the winning teams are doing. Is this a county league or Pop Warner? If it’s county, you may have more leverage to change some things. Pop Warner is more structured. What, if anything, do you feel is missing? Zero in on the folks who are participating in your club, and ask them point blank what they think it would take to help improve your association for next year. 

Fundraising? New coaches? I would seek out some new blood, guys who played on the high school or college level in your community who might be willing to come on as coaches even if they don’t have sons playing peewee. I suppose even if they aren’t interested, you can always ask their advice. One thing I’ve found through the years, you’ve got to give folks a vision and get them excited about it. I never encourage giving up, but you may have to adjust the game plan—nothing wrong with joining forces with another association.

•    •    •

Dear Football Mom,

Our son plays in college and is going to play a bowl game. While we are excited, we live on the opposite side of the country from this bowl stadium, and our budget will not afford the travel, time, or hotel cost to get there. Why don’t these high-paying booster clubs who pay coaches enormous amounts of money help families like ours? We have only seen a few games this year and it’s a hardship just to do that.


You nearly have to be a lawyer to understand all the legalities of the NCAA rules, but as of right now, for booster clubs to pay your way to this bowl game would be so taboo. You would be getting sanctions slapped on your son’s college team quicker than a hiccup.

This hits close to home and my heart. I have thought of creating a not-for-profit Helmet Kisses Association for just this reason, and to help injured players in college in which the needs are endless. Right now, I’m going to ask any football fans reading this column if this might be something you would you support. Anyone who’d like to join me in this quest, please holler via email. Also, any legal eagles willing to jump in to establish such a ministry, I welcome your guidance.  

I understand all too well the strains on monies to see your son play in college. Actually, I wrote a chapter in my book addressing this very thing: “So, Is It Cheaper to Pay Your Son’s College Tuition or Take Out a Second Mortgage and Go See Him Play?” One of those blessings in disguise.  

If you really desire to go, there will be a way. You will have to get humble and creative. Host a yard sale. Enlist your community, neighbors, and friends to get involved. Perhaps your church would pitch in and hold a fundraiser. 

 My husband worked a second job on Sundays after church at a grocery store. I picked up all the substitute-teaching jobs I could for gas money, food and hotels. Save, save, save. You can work this out. And, gee golly, best blessings to you and your family. What a lifetime opportunity to have your son play in a bowl. Wow. How cool is that!   

   

Each question is handled with discretion and privacy. Identity of persons asking questions will not be shared. All information is strictly confidential. Questions are not limited to Forsyth County and encompass surrounding areas, including other states. As “The Heart Behind the Gridiron,” we try to answer a variety of questions and scenarios surrounding the game. Answers are opinion-based. We are not responsible for results. All questions should be submitted by email to Candy@CandyAWestbrook.com.