SCORING POINTS WITH PARTICIPANTS — With nearly 200 participants in its youth football and cheerleading programs, the Rome Colts Pop Warner program is raising funds to expand its facility to include a practice field, and improved parking and lighting. As part of the project, the group will be holding a bottle and can drive on Saturday. (Sentinel file photo by John Clifford)

Fund-raiser to benefit local project

Published Jul 13, 2017 at 4:10pm

Rome Colts Pop Warner will hold a bottle and can drive this Saturday, July 15, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Bottles and cans can be dropped off at their home field, 800 Bell Road, Rome. Participants will also be going door-to-door in the community. After this event returns will be accepted on Colts’ account at Green World Bottle & Can Return.

All of the proceeds will benefit the Rome Colts Practice Field Project. More information about the project and other ways to donate can be found at www.romecolts.org

The Rome Colts serves between 170–200 children, ages 5-13, annually, typically fielding six teams each for both football and cheerleading.

“The program offers a great opportunity for kids by providing an outdoor activity with a team building and mentoring atmosphere that teaches commitment and builds upon core individual and interpersonal values assisting kids today and later in life,” the group says. 

“The Rome Colts have been reliant on the generosity of the community which has loaned us land for practice, but our options are running short,” the group states on its practice field project website.

The solution, it adds, is for the Rome Colts to extend its game location on Bell Road into multiple practice fields with an increased and improved parking lot for a safe, accommodating, and functional atmosphere for our members. 

“Completion of this project gives our teams a permanent location, a home, to enjoy their many hours of practice,” officials added. “Lighting is a strong safety concern with the parking lot taking priority for the safety of our athletes and their families with the early sunsets in the fall. Modest field lighting will benefit our teams as our practices run out of sunlight in the limited evening hours of late summer and fall.

The organization’s efforts began in 2012 with an idea and a lot of paperwork. The project’s site plan has been approved and Phase II of the four-phased project is well under way, the Rome Colts said, adding the organization will proceed through this phased process as funding permits. 

The projected budget is $162,000. According to the Rome Colts website the group has raised just over $50,000 through dedicated fund-raising and donated services to complete Phase I and begin Phase II. A $23,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Herkimer & Oneida Counties, Inc. in 2016 has helped them begin work on Phase IIA.

The group also has established a gofundme page. The link to this site can be found on the Rome Colts website.