Youth Football Team Supports the Bonfire


December 16, 2015


A football team in Colorado made up of eleven year old boys decided to take their game off the field and put their hard work toward a fundraiser for the Warrior Bonfire Program.  Collectively they raised $400 in donations from their family, friends and spectators. Members of the South Dolphin Platinum team, from Castle Rock, Colorado who play in the Arapahoe Youth League  and Coach Wessbecker have led the charge for a year long fundraising effort by the AYL for all the teams associated with the league. The leagues goal is to help their youth, in all sports, learn of the sacrifices that our military service men and women are willing to make for the freedoms these young athletes enjoy.  The South Dolphin Platinum Football team invited our Board of Director member, Mike Foss from the Denver area to join them at their team dinner to conclude the season and presented him with the check.


Using the platform laid out by JD Phillips in the JD McGillicutty Project, these young athletes focus on playing their sport for something other than themselves. Learning to be aware of the gift to play without fear or simply free to play, can be directly linked to the freedoms our armed forces protect. Even more so, learning that we as civilians, have a duty to serve those that have served for us and basically to just respect those that have worn the uniform.

For these football players and any other athlete, seeing and learning about those wounded veterans that have to face hard challenges every day and find ways to push through their pain, discomfort or frustrations, is an example of how to play hard on the field. This also serves as a reminder to be thankful that they do not have to push through those same psychical and mental challenges.


In November, the Warrior Bonfire Program had the opportunity to be a part of the AYL Super Bowl Weekend and were given the opportunity to share stories and needs of injured veterans. Spreading the knowledge of the Warrior Bonfire Program and the services we provide, creates awareness and exposure to those that may be in a position to help in larger capacities. Our Bonfire Ambassadors (Purple Hearts that have attended a Bonfire and are our Peer to Peer mentors) had the privilege to meet Lee Rouson, New York Giant Super Bowl Champion and Brandon McManus, kicker for the Denver, Broncos.  Although these two are likely Saints fans, they were thrilled!

We want to thank the Arapahoe Youth League and all it’s members for their support throughout the coming year. We wish you all safe and successful seasons!