by John M. Curtin
Currently there's a hot topic among all organized football teams, including those in the National Football League about head injuries sustained by players, resulting in concussions. In an effort to minimize these injuries in local youth, the Friends of Lew-Port Football is now raising funds to purchase new helmets for their players.
"We want to buy the players top-of-the-line helmets. The current helmets are at a four-star helmet rating - but there are better out there," says Bill Schiavitti, chair of the Friends of Lew-Port Football organization.
According to Schiavitti and recent news sources, the ratings are based on a new helmet rating system developed by the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) back in May 2011.
The best-of-the-best is what is hoped for the Lew-Port players. Based on Virginia Tech's May 2012 report on helmet ratings, the Riddell 360 helmet is rated at five stars, costing an average of $374.95 each.
"The face mask is actually a shock absorber," says Schiavitti.
To provide all its players with these helmets, the Friends of Lew-Port Football is looking to raise an estimated $30,000. With the NFL getting involved in Lew-Port's goal and the strong possibility of enlisting the help of famous former Dallas Cowboys star and NFL Hall of Famer Daryl "Moose" Johnson, a 1984 Lewiston-Porter High School grad, more than $15,000 has already been raised. Adding to this the Lewiston-based Jonathan Miller "J-Mill" Giving fund recently donated a "huge contribution" of $5,000.
The public is invited to attend a Chiavetta's chicken barbecue dinner fundraising event this Sunday, June 24, from 2 to 6 p.m. at the 3 F Club located at 904 Swann Road, Lewiston. The cost is $10 per dinner. Schiavetti has hopes of selling at least 400 dinners as this event is sure to go a long way towards helping prevent concussions in Lew-Port youth football players. There is also an opportunity for businesses to become sponsors in this event.
"If we can save one concussion, then we've done our job," he says.
More information can be found by calling Schiavetti at 716-628-1130.