Timeless Floral Park Titans Pay It Forward

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Plans Set for TitansBowl 2011 Sponsorship Drive

Most people would like to save time in a bottle, but what if it actually could be immortalized in a football helmet? For Floral Park resident Rachel McDonald, the idea wasn’t so far-fetched.

Thanks to an outpouring of support from the 2009 sponsorship drive, the Floral Park Titans Football League was able to raise $20,000 to purchase much-needed equipment, as well as new uniforms for the young players. That meant that 120 10-year-old football helmets were now sitting around with no purpose and no home. That is until McDonald, a board member of the Titans League and her co-worker, Paul Pokalsky, set out to turn the trash-bound relics into small treasures.

McDonald, whose son is a player in the League, wanted to create something that would last a lifetime. “I couldn’t think that these memories for so many kids would wind up sitting in a landfill,” McDonald said. “We thought it would be such a shame if these helmets weren’t being used and we knew we wanted to recycle them into something else,” McDonald said.

The idea for a clock helmet struck them both and the two colleagues, who work for non-profit ANIBIC (Association for Neurologically Impaired Brain Injured Children), drummed up an idea that would benefit both the League and ANIBIC. “We [ANIBIC] run a two-week summer program for disabled children that has recently lost some of its funding. Some of these children who attend school 12 months out of the year due to their disabilities and most from limited income families get to spend two weeks going to the beach, museum, bowling, the aquarium,” she said.

 With a little divine intervention, a local Boy Scout Troop from Douglaston approached ANIBIC to do a Troop project right around the same time. McDonald thought that restoring the helmets would be the ideal community project involving all three non-profit organizations. “For the last three weeks, the Boy Scouts and their Dads have been peeling labels, sanding, taking out the insides, drilling holes and painting the helmets,” McDonald explained, adding that the clock components were purchased and the helmets are nearly complete and ready to be sold in time for Christmas. “The Floral Park community gave to the Titans last year and in turn, the Titans paid it forward, as did the Boy Scouts. This is recycling at its best,” McDonald said.

The clocks are currently selling for $75 and must be purchased by Dec. 18 in time for holiday delivery. All proceeds will be donated toward ANIBIC summer programs (visit anibic.org for more information).

In an effort to raise their targeted goal of $20,000 to provide a spectacular 2011 season, the Floral Park Titans Football League is planning a league fundraiser and asking for support from the local community. On Jan. 29, the TitansBowl 2011 is being held at Koenig’s Restaurant in Floral Park. “This season the Floral Park Titans were only able to outfit half of our teams with new uniforms; and our shoulder pads were only able to be reconditioned. Our main concern is the safety of our children. To that end, we are committed to raising funds to purchase additional new uniforms and new shoulder pads for next season; as well as keeping our registration fees family affordable,” McDonald said.

According to McDonald, the Floral Park Titans Football League does not qualify for most grants as a volunteer organization and support is needed and most appreciated. To become involved, members of the community can purchase ad space in the 2011 journal or make contributions of a gift certificate or raffle donation. Alternatively, financial contributions of any amount or raffle donations can be made to the Floral Park Titans. For more information on purchasing one of the clock helmets, call 516-352-1466 or email FloralParkTitans@gmail.com.

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