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Fundraiser aims to improve safety for football players

Fundraiser held to raise money for safer football equipment.

The CLCF Youth Football and Cheer organization held its annual preseason fundraiser Saturday at Cranston High School West.

It was an opportunity for all members of the Cranston league to get together and in some cases, meet each other for the first time.

"Get all the families together, you might have families at the flag level, five year olds, who never get to meet thirteen year olds so everyone gets to intertwine, interact, with the president of the league, coaches and others," said Football League President Bryan Stetson.

"This is our 4th Dash for Downs; we're raising money for the improvement of equipment and safety for our kids that are in the league," said parent Deanna Marinucci, whose son has been playing football with CLCF for five years.

Among the pieces of equipment the league raises money to buy are new helmets for the players that contain the latest technology.

"There's no such thing as a concussion proof helmet, but these have come a long way to prevent concussions and so has education about concussion awareness," said Stetson, who showed NBC10 one of the new 2017 helmets the league has bought for the teams.

"Inside here it's blown up, a little bit of 2 inch space, and that allows the helmet to take the impact rather than your head," said Stetson.

Stetson does believe the concern about concussion in the sport has impacted participation over the years. When he first got involved in 2003 teams were averaging thirty-five plus players, now he says each team has count in the mid-twenties.

"That's where you really have to let people know listen, what we're doing here at CLCF is important to us, where your child's safety is number one, and it’s not only the equipment we buy but the coaches we have," he said.

The league’s opening day games will be held Sunday at Cranston Stadium.

Marinucci says they are always looking for more corporate sponsors to aid in fundraising as well as volunteer support.

For inquiries about CLCF Youth Football email: clcfcommish@gmail.com

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