CLEVELAND – Brooklyn Youth Football, Cleveland Heights Tigers Youth Football and Lake County Youth Football League have been named the 2017 recipients of the Leo Murphy Field & Equipment Grant, the Cleveland Touchdown Club Charities (CTCC) announced on Wednesday.
The Field & Equipment Grant, named after longtime Cleveland Browns trainer and Honorary Lifetime Member of CTCC Leo Murphy, is awarded annually by the CTCC to youth football programs in the Greater Cleveland area. Brooklyn will receive $3,500 while Cleveland Heights and Lake will each receive $3,000 to assist with securing the proper equipment and resources they need to play the game safely.
"From the earliest days of our organization, we have been dedicated to promoting the game of football and helping local teams and organizations provide a safe environment to help grow the game," CTCC President Christina Webb said. "We are very excited to support these youth football programs in the Greater Cleveland Area."
The Brooklyn Youth Football is entering its 12th year of youth football and is a member of the Northeast Ohio Youth Football Conference. The organization offers flag and tackle football to youths ages 5-12. The Hurricanes will use the grant to recondition their current football helmets and purchase new equipment.
"On behalf of Brooklyn Youth Football, I am thrilled to receive this grant. Last season, we ended with a negative balance that we had to accept going into the 2017 season," Kristyn McElroy, President of Brooklyn Youth Football, said. "Since we have more children each year joining our league, we have added a new 8-9 year old flag team. We plan to use this grant to purchase new jerseys and equipment, and for helmet certification."
The Cleveland Heights Tigers is a subsidiary of the Cleveland Heights Tigers Youth Sports Association and serves approximately 130-180 children from ages 5-11 in the Cleveland Heights/University Heights school district. The program will use the grant to purchase new football helmets that meet state and league safety requirements.
"We are excited to receive this grant from the Cleveland Touchdown Club as it will allow us to continue to further our mission of serving the youth in our community," Michael Payne, Commissioner and President of Cleveland Heights Tigers Youth Football, said. "Our kids are well-deserving of this opportunity and will help ensure their safety through purchasing of new helmets and pads."
For more than 20 years, the Lake County Youth Football Organization, also known as the Lake County Storm has been dedicated to teaching the fundamentals of football and the importance of teamwork and sportsmanship to youth in Lake County. This grant will help the program purchase new equipment, cover field fees and support participation fees.
"Thank you to the Cleveland Touchdown Charities for your donation to the Lake County Youth Football League," Walter Anderson, Lake County Youth Football Organization President, said. "This grant will help us in so many ways. It will help us buy new equipment, help keep our kids safe and to compete at the highest level."
Started in 2012, the CTCC Leo Murphy Memorial Field & Equipment Grant was established to allow the membership of CTCC to give back directly to youth football programs in the Greater Cleveland area. Grant eligibility is limited to 501(c)(3) non-profit youth organizations and local schools in Cuyahoga, Lorain, Medina, Lake and Geauga counties. Grant funds are designated to make improvements to equipment and/or facilities, and to help improve the safety and overall quality of those programs.