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Monday, July 26, 2010

Months after 60 Minutes ‘Football Island’, donations continue to pour in

Months after the airing of 60 Minutes Football Island highlighting the local football program, donations from those touched by the stories of American Samoa’s athletes continue to pour in with the latest donation received from Phyllis Lindsey and Edward Maiava in Olympia, Washington. This most recent donation from Washington — a container of helmets, football cleats, pads, jerseys and pants — has been received by the Samoa Bowl Committee. The container was shipped to American Samoa through the help of Janis Holland at Clipper Oil Company, who managed to pay the shipping of the container to Pago Pago. The Samoa Bowl Committee, which also contributed to shipping costs.
High school squads are gearing up for the upcoming football season that kicks off Aug. 14 and Samoa Bowl says they plan to distribute the equipment to high schools this week.

Chairman of Samoa Bowl Pete Gurr says American Samoa is blessed.

“We are so blessed that we have people out there who actually are willing to help us. We did our part as to assisting the container to get to American Samoa and keeping track to make sure that it gets here,” he said.

Melila Purcell, Samoa Bowl Vice Chairman told Samoa News that the equipment will be divided evenly among the schools. This year there are seven squads competing in football, the most ever in the territory.

“We want to thank Phyllis Lindsey and the Maiavas in Olympia, Washington for this tremendous donation of football equipment for the youth of American Samoa, to develop their skills and athleticism...,” he said. ”We sorted out the equipment last Saturday and we are still trying to bring more stuff out of the container to be sorted.”

Purcell says most of the equipment that arrived in the Washington container are extra large in size and up.

“So we have already discussed that this equipment are for better use in the high school level,” Purcell noted.

Purcell says they are still sorting through the equipment.

“We are still working on opening up more boxes in the back of the container but as far as the equipment that were in the front part of the container, we have sorted out seven boxes per school of football helmets, but in due time, every school will have an equal amount of all the donated items,” he said.

Several donations spurred by the 60 Minutes Football Island segment have been received by American Samoa including a donation from Toronto, Canada businessman Mario Elia and another from Oregon High Schools.

Another donation of sports items gathered from around the US, during an equipment drive coordinated by Terri Jacques in San Luis Obispo, Calif., is enroute to American Samoa.

Samoa Bowl says they are also awaiting yet another donation — native of Faleniu who is in the U.S.

Maiava is putting together football chin straps, mouth guards and other items as part of his Eagle Scout project. The equipment will be sent to American Samoa for use by high school football athletes.

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