PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — 10 On Your Side first told you about an intercity youth football team from Portsmouth scammed out of $8,000 for new uniforms.
Hours after the story aired last month, people in the community reached out to help.
On Wednesday, the Portsmouth Bruins wore their new uniforms for the first time during their game in Suffolk.
“When they saw these uniforms last week, they were so happy,” said Mike Thomas, president of the Bruins.
125 children now have one thing in common–they’re all wearing the same football uniform. Money for this Pop Warner team is a luxury and many on the team have played in old, hand-me-down or mismatched gear up until this week.
“It’s unfortunate but some people expect us to look bad and so having nice uniforms makes the kids proud,” Thomas explained.
Kids like 9-year-old King Smith who modeled his new jersey for us Wednesday. Smith has played for the Bruins for the last two years.
“I think it looks good,” Smith told 10 On Your Side.
TowneBank and A4 Development Group answered the call to action after hearing about the Bruins being scammed out of $8,000 by a company in North Carolina. Both companies gave large donations to fund the team’s uniforms.
“I saw the story on 10 On Your Side. We work for TowneBank; they’re one of our clients, Bob Aston who is the chairman, the founder of the bank, has a real soft spot for Portsmouth in particular because that’s where he grew up, but also for youth sports,” said Joel Rubin of Rubin Communications Group.
Kenny Cuffee, who serves as the president of construction for A4 Developments runs a youth organization himself and understands the need for such programs in the community.
“We need these people in our lives, in our communities that help the young kids, to know that there’s a lot of things going on out here in the world and to help them see those things. It’s an outlet for a lot of kids. It gives them things to do outside of just the regular things in the neighborhood,” Cuffee stated.
Thomas is excited to see where the Bruins end up this season.
“Hopefully we’ll bring a regional championship and a national championship back to Portsmouth,” Thomas concluded.