By LINDSAY CAREY
Southington Valley Midget Football (SVMF) recently suffered a major financial blow when water damage from a broken pipe resulted in over $100,000 of damage between the youth league’s field house, kitchen, and equipment room.
SVMF President Dave Schneider said that the league is already in the process of making the repairs necessary to get the facility back in working order for football season in August.
Schneider said the concession stand, where the flooding started, has already been gutted. Now, the floors are being ripped up. The walls in the equipment room are being stripped, but the wiring and the lighting will also need to be redone.
“We’re basically starting from scratch once everything is ripped out,” said Schneider. “But as the president of the league, I am very happy that everything’s coming along smoothly so far.”
The league has been sorting through the damaged property to see what can be salvaged and what needs to be thrown away. Items like team uniforms and knee pads had to be sent for cleaning because of the mold found in the equipment room.
“If there’s a positive at all to this, it’s that it didn’t happen in-season,” said Schneider. “It’s going to take a couple of months, but it’ll be newer and better.”
Kapura General Contractors of Plainville and DK Restorations are handling the project.
Schneider also said that the town has been exceptionally responsive to the needs of the league during this time. He said the league has received a lot of support from Town Attorney Mark Sciota and Director of Recreation David Lapreay.
Local businesses have also stepped up to support SVMF. Spartans II has offered the league a room to meet for the monthly general membership meetings that are usually held at the field house.
Other businesses have found a way to contribute by helping with the league’s Chili Cook Off fundraiser on Sunday, March 29, at the Polish Falcons Club, 133 Knowles Ave., Southington. Organizers hope it will become an annual event.
“We were having the chili cook off prior to any of this happening,” said Schneider. “We’re always looking for fundraising opportunities. It just happened that this event coincided with the fundraiser.”
The chili cook off will help the league cover some of the costs for the repairs. Schneider said he’s already sold about 40 tickets and has received tremendous support from the community.
“A lot of the people are just buying the tickets to show the support for the league, which I appreciate,” he said. “Several people have gotten back to me asking what can they do to help out in any way or give a donation, and it’s been very much appreciated.”
Each team in the SVMF league is going to be making its own chili for the fundraising event and those who attend will be able to sample each one for a $10 donation.
The chili will be judged in three categories: hottest, best overall, and people’s choice. Awards of Elegance is donating trophies for the event.
The judges for the SVMF Chili Cook Off are Southington Police Chief Jack Daly and Lou Urso, the league’s head referee for over 35 years.
The SVMF Cheerleaders are also going to be holding a bake sale at the event. Awards of Elegance will be doing a silent auction, and anyone who buys a ticket will be automatically entered into a raffle to win free registration for the 2015 football season—a $165 value.
To purchase tickets to the Chili Cook Off visit www.svfml.org. Tickets are also available at local businesses Lewis Farms at 384 Belleview Ave., Awards of Elegance at 410 Main St., or Formaggio Apizza Ristorante at 1244 Meriden Ave.
For more information, call Schneider at 860-637-1705 or SVMF Marketing Director Brian Dunne 860-670-0636.
Schneider, Dunne, Equipment Manager Fred Parke and Mrs. Connecticut Kimberly Beaudoin have been working together to organize the fundraising event.