Pop Warner team raising funds for Florida trip

November 29, 2012 (CHICAGO)

The Chicago Jokers, a Pop Warner Youth Football league team brought home the regional trophy.

"We practice hard, we play hard," said player Dreyce Denton.

Their hard work has earned the Jokers a trip to Disney World to play in the Pop Warner Super Bowl. For the 18 players on this team, it is an opportunity of a lifetime.

"A lot of these kids' moms don't let them out of the block let alone out of the state, it is a big deal for these boys," said Coach Larell Carter.

"I want to win and bring home another trophy," said player Jacob Reed.

The boys are all from the West Side of Chicago and most don't have the money to pay for the trip. Transportation, room and board for a week costs close to $2,000 per player.

"We are in the hunt for $23,000 we need to be in Orlando noon on Saturday," said Chicago Jokers President Eric McLendon.

The players have hit the streets raising money on their own. Whether it is Pop Warner or other youth sports, the cost of participating, especially if your team advances, is expensive.

"It's tough for parents not working have fixed incomes can't afford it trying to do the best we can," said parent Shawana Camel.

For some parents, it is well worth if it means keeping their kids off streets and giving them discipline and structure.

"Yes they do cost, but you have to think of the bigger picture in life especially if they like to do," said parent Sandy Evans.

In the short term, time is ticking for the Jokers to raise that money. The plan is to leave for Florida by bus Friday morning.

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