Revere, Massachusetts isn’t a tiny little town. It’s a mid-sized city, just northeast of Boston. The city has a little more than fifty-thousand residents, and because the city is spread out along the bay as well as inland, people in one part of town might never cross paths with folks from other neighborhoods. But there is one way that people from all over the city do come together. Revere’s Pop Warner football and cheer program, the Junior Patriots.
Between the many different age groups for football and cheer, the organization is a gathering place for over one hundred-fifty local kids and their families. And when it’s game time, people from all over town come together. Football and cheer mom Lynnemarie Prezioso emphasized that the entire group is just like a close-knit family.
Running a Pop Warner organization isn’t easy, or cheap. So, when it comes time to raise money, everyone in town gets involved. The money raised several times per year helps with equipment costs such as helmets, pads, uniforms, and cleats, as well as some all-important safety concerns. Everyone wants these kids to play it safe, so Revere Pop Warner pays to have EMT’s on site for every single game. Not to mention that raising money can be a key component of keeping youth sports accessible for everyone.
“Some kids can’t afford certain things, but if we all work together to raise money, they can afford to participate,” Lynnemarie said. “That way, no child gets left behind.”
She added that the coaches are super involved in making sure everyone has a chance to get involved. “If a kid needs cleats, the coach buys cleats.”
Lynnemarie also understands the vital importance of keeping kids in the community active and involved. “Physical activities are super important in helping kids express themselves, plus [Pop Warner] gives them a mentor. Someone to talk to,” she said.
Around her house, everyone’s a part of the action. Lynnemarie works with the cheer team while her husband helps out with the football team. Their twelve-year-old son Salvatore plays on both the offensive and defensive lines. He loves his coaches and teammates, as well as the structure and discipline it brings. His seven-year-old sister Sabrina participates as well; she’s a Tiny Mites Cheerleader. Everyone gets in the game.
When it came time to raise money with Double Good, Lynnemarie knew what she was getting into. Salvatore’s school had done a fundraiser selling popcorn with Double Good before, so she already knew her pitch: “It’s the best popcorn you’ll ever eat.”
She’s not wrong. And with just a few emails and some social media posts, Lynnemarie and her family raised well over a thousand dollars to help the Junior Patriots continue to be an integral part of the youth culture in Revere.