Minivan is game ticket for young football players

Posted December 13, 2009 2:01 p.m. EST
Updated December 13, 2009 3:58 p.m. EST

— To some, it's just a minivan.

To the Durham Eagles Pop Warner football players, it's a ticket to games they couldn't get to otherwise.

A family donated a minivan to DurhamCares, a nonprofit that organizes volunteers. In turn, the charity held a contest for groups that could use the minivan.

The Durham Eagles, in which 262 children ages 5 to 15 compete, was selected as the winner.

"One of the reasons we got really excited by the program ... is the size and the scope of it the emphasis on athletic excellence and then also academic excellence," said Henry Kaestner, acting executive director of Durham Cares.

Commissioner Don Jones, who started the Durham Eagles 16 years ago, said the minivan was deeply needed by the program. About 70 percent of the children are from single-parent families, and more than half are in families that fall below the poverty line, he said.

"The opportunity to travel, do some things that parents can't do with them, this van gives us the opportunity to provide these for them," Jones said.

"Obviously, we are elated with our good fortune and our ongoing relationship with DurhamCares."