The Village of Mount Sterling is ensuring a youth football camp can go forward in case the funding isn’t there.
Council voted unanimously during a special session Monday night to use village funds and accepting any necessary donations to ensure the James Cotton Football camp can go on Saturday, July 1 during next week’s community festival.
“If it comes to pass this year, if we have to spend some of our money on this football camp, we’ve got the document in place to do it,” said Mayor Lowell Anderson.
The organization hosting the youth sports camp is the Buck-Icon Foundation which was founded by James Cotton, a former football defensive end, who played at Ohio State University as well as both the Canadian Football League and National Football League.
It will feature a number of former OSU and NFL players training the kids, who can register for free. A similar event was held last year in Mount Sterling, but later in July.
Village administrator John Martin said that the event would cost about $3,425, which included the $2,500 fee for James Cotton’s Buck-Icon Foundation coaches to come, $825 for T-shirts and possibly $100 worth of bottled water, as current reports suggest the temperatures could be as high as 86 degrees.
The village won’t be on the hook for all of that though; local organizations have come forward with donations.
The first donation was the $500, which came from Mount Sterling’s local American Legion Post 417. Keihin Thermal, a Japanese company with a local manufacturing plant, donated the $2,500.
“[They] have very generously and almost, really at the last moment, executed a wonderful civic thing and is offering to pay the $2,500 for the James Cotton Foundation,” said Martin.
“So that leaves us about $400, plus nickels and dimes difference remaining. I received one more donation possibly that I have to call for, and that could neutralize the entire issue,” he added.
Martin mentioned he may be able to get the water from a Pepsi representative and a local donation for the ice.
Council member Jim Davis also mentioned Keihin may donate water and Gatorade as well.
“I would stay with water only because of health reasons with kids,” said Martin. “I don’t want to hit anyone’s health issues with Gatorade.”
Cindy Miller, a finance contractor for the village said she and Fiscal Officer Courtney Bricker reviewed the budget and said any cost incurred by the village would only affect the Parks and Recreation fund, which is positive.
“Considering you may only have a few hundred dollars to come up with, give or take, the appropriations in the park and rec fund is $1,400,” she said. “Just so all of council knows, Courtney and I talked about it, it’s just the short amount under the $1,400 available. You won’t touch the general fund.”
This elicited cheers from council, as the general fund has been in the negative due to thefts from the former village administrator, Joe Johnson. According to Bricker at a finance workshop last week, it stands at about negative $290,000.
Council member Rebecca Burns was happy to hear the support the camp was getting from community donations.
“There is, right now, a hundred children signed up for this,” she said. “When you have the support of incredible businesses like Keihin and the Legion, who want to see this go … the gratitude I know I personally feel for Keihin is overwhelming.”
Council member Dave Timmons discussed how this was a good moment for the village to come together.
“It shows how we can unify at times,” he said. “All the time we think of times where everybody is divided. It’s so good to hear this.”
Maximilian Kwiatkowski can be reached at 740-852-1616, ext. 1617 or on Twitter @MSFKwiat.
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