A month after much of the Kensington High School football team’s equipment was stolen or vandalized from a shed on its practice field, its fundraising has surged to a new level.
The community and two prominent persons, Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz and U.S. Rep. Bob Brady, have recently bolstered the squad’s bid to replace the equipment and continue its season.
On Wednesday night, Kensington assistant coach Justin Young received a phone call from Lisa Ertz, Zach’s mother. “I talked to Mrs. Ertz and then Zach,” Young said. “It was pretty amazing.”
Young said the two first donated $5,000 through the Ertz Family Foundation and “then later upped the pledge to $10,000.”
Young also spoke to Brady on Wednesday, and a day later drove to Brady’s office. It was there, the fifth-year assistant said, that Brady handed him a check for $8,000.
“We had a great conversion, and he said he was going to do whatever he could to help us,” Young, 35 said.
Including its online fundraising and outside donations, Young, a 2001 graduate of Kensington, said the school has raised about $28,000.
“We’re pretty much a self-sustaining program,” Young said. “A lot of these kids come from broken homes, so it’s been terrific for them to see that there are people out there who really do care.”
The Kensington football team’s shed in the aftermath of theft and vandalism in July 2018.
Young said one or more squatters stole or vandalized helmets, practice jerseys, pants, socks, girdles, and tackling dummies in mid-July.
Kensington, which is guided by head coach Sean Ryan, is scheduled to scrimmage Public League rival Strawberry Mansion next Saturday afternoon at the Marcus Foster Stadium Super Site in Hunting Park.
Young said the challenge now is to receive between 16 and 20 helmets from the district’s vendor by Friday. The team had about 15 helmets safely stored at the school since the end of last season.
“We put an order in, but, with so many teams getting ready to begin their seasons, it’s like trying to buy rock salt on the same day as a snowstorm,” Young said.
Kensington is in its fifth year as a varsity football program.
Kensington, a fifth-year varsity program, is slated to open the 2018 campaign at New Hope-Solebury on Aug. 24 at 7 p.m.
You can contribute to the team’s fundraising efforts here.