A sports team is giving back to the community for all the support it has received.
Members of the Warren Area High School football team gathered on Sunday for a service project at the John & Orpha Blair Hospice Residence. Elsa Redding, Hospice of Warren County director, said members of the team wanted to do something for a non-profit organization.
Shannon Stevenson volunteers with hospice and was telling her coworker Pat Jerman about her experience. Jerman, whose son plays quarterback for the Dragons, saw an opportunity to get the team involved.
Times Observer photos by Colin Kyler
Members of the Warren Area High School football team gather to work at the John & Orpha Blair Hospice Residence.
After a work bee last year, the team returned again this year. Tasks included taking out shrubbery, picking up dead limbs and building a planter.
Jack Donaldson, Hospice of Warren County Grounds Committee chairperson, said any such projects are welcome. With a large property, there's always something that needs done.
"I think the important thing in the whole deal is the kids being willing to do community service without the law hanging over their heads," Donaldson said. "So many do it because of a sentence, but this is a good will thing."
Hospice depends on volunteer help, Redding said, and fall brings with it additional yardwork. The residence serves as a home and a lot of care is taken to make it appear as one and not as an institution, mini hospital or nursing home.
With the football team, Redding said hospice gets strong, committed volunteers to lend a hand. Some of the fathers and coaches pitched in to help as well.
Participants included Kevin Barness, Mark Cecco, Eric Cecco, DJ Fehlman, Matt Falvo, Cody Gunn, Andrew Hammersley, Ryan Hettenbaugh, Austin Jerman, Mike Manderfeld, Dakota Matson, Cody McGraw, Chris McNeal, Ed Ord, Ryan Shattuck, Alex Sherman, Alex Streich, Matt Sweigart, Kyle Traut, Brad Walters, Jordan Willetts, Luke Wortman, Don Brown, Mark Bupp, Jared Bupp, Rick Falvo, Tim Hammersley, Scott Sweigart and Pat Jerman.
"With the pay to play situation everyone is forced into, the community gives a lot to the Warren Athletic Fund," Jerman said. "We wanted to thank them for their support."
Donations can be made to the Warren Athletic Fund c/o Community Foundation of Warren County, PO Box 691, Warren, PA 16365.