PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Thursday, June 22 was supposed to be a day of practice at Jack’s Park.
“It’s pretty much our off season preparation plan,” Chester Township Councilman William Morgan said.
The park is where the Chester Township Cougars play football. Instead, it turned out to be a day of cleanup.
“All of our equipment was outside of the shed and on the football fields across the parking lot,” Morgan said.
The councilman also volunteers as a coach said someone ransacked both storage sheds and stole at least ten helmets.
And Morgan said he felt hurt and disheartened.
“I actually wanted to cry actually.”
Some $5,000 of gear was missing or strewn across the field. Blocking pads and discarded helmets were even found in neighboring yards.
“Now we need all hands on deck as far as parents and the community,” Morgan said.
The Cougars are getting help from the police and community.
“There are no cameras out here,” Capt.Laura Dixon Hartshorn said. “Luckily, an overwhelming response from our community led us to the recovery of some of that equipment.”
And that is not all.
“The police department personally is going to donate to recoup the equipment,” Hartshorn said.
Now, the volunteers who run the program for more than 150 children and teens have reinforced the locks, boarded up the windows and doubled down on their commitment for this community.
“I think we’ll be able to move forward from this,” Councilman Morgan said. “There is a lot we have to recover, however it’s not going to stop us from starting the season a month from now.”
If anyone is interested in making a donation to the Chester Township Cougars Athletic Association, you can donate through this GoFundMe Page or by contacting the Chester Township Administration Building.