BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - A company is scrambling to find a new van to take teenagers to college football camps where they could eventually get scholarships.
Playmakers Elite or PME 7v7 runs a 7-on-7 youth football program. They have taken about 200 kids over the last four years to college camps.
“Definitely heartbroken for the kids. Just trying to figure out how do we keep our program together and rolling this summer without transportation,” said Larry Simmons, Coordinator with PME.
Wednesday morning, a 2004 white Ford van was stolen from fellow coordinator Jaquel Fells’ father in-law’s house in Roebuck where it was being housed. To make things worse, this is second time within days the home was robbed.
“Sunday night going into Monday morning, they stole my son’s car from my father-in-law’s house. They were going to give it to him when he got his license,” Fells said.
A GoFundMe has been established for the young football program. The goal is to raise $10,000 to purchase a new van. They are also hoping to get some kind of transportation soon as their schedule is packed with visits scheduled to Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, Mississippi Valley State, Florida, Alabama State, Jacksonville State, Chattanooga, Troy and Southern Miss between this weekend through July 27.
You can view the GoFundMe page by clicking here.
The 7-on-7 program gives these student athletes a chance to land a college degree. “The crime rate is not decreasing in Birmingham. A lot of our kids don’t have transportation. Don’t have a way to camps. Don’t have tutoring, to training,” Simmons said.
The men hope someone will help with alternate transportation or if someone may know those who stole the van. “They are trash to me. It’s a trash person. I hate people would take from people who work hard to earn where they are,” Fells said.
The group has a trip to Vanderbilt in Nashville planned for next Thursday, then on to Mississippi Valley College. Anyone who can help can call 205-745-9684 or 205-249-7915. If anyone has information on the stolen van, you’re asked to contact the Birmingham Police Department.