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Pelham Sports in Solid Financial Shape This Year

PELHAM, N.Y. -- Yonkers public schools recently found money to support varsity football this fall but budget cuts have threatened other sports within the district. But the Pelham Union Free School District will not face such threats to its sports programs this year.

Superintendent Dr. Dennis Lauro said that Pelham has a stable financial situation with regard to athletics. The budget for the schools received ample support from residents.

"The budget passed overwhelmingly in the community, which goes to show you what the community values," Lauro said.

Pelham Memorial High School has 17 athletic teams at both the junior varsity and varsity level in its fall season, including football, volleyball, soccer and swimming. Nine winter teams and 18 spring teams brings the total to 44 teams for the academic year.

Lauro said that the board looked at cutting back in the budget two years ago and considered cutting some sports, but the board ultimately decided it could handle all of them.

Aid comes in the form of the Friends of Pelham Sports, a nonprofit group led by Tim Cassidy that raises money for sports in the town to supplement the funding from the board of education.

Cassidy said that warning signs indicate when financial constraints threaten sports programs in Pelham.

"You can kind of see it coming," Cassidy said. "You can see how when the budgets were under pressure, sports were going to be one of the areas that were going to be affected."

The first project in the group's year-and-a-half existence is to raise about $1 million for a turf field at Glover Field. The group is halfway toward its goal, and Lauro said the board has indicated its acceptance of the idea.

"It's a supportive community, and I'm thankful for that," Lauro said.

Are you involved in sports in the Pelham school district? Have you donated to the fund for the turf field? Comment below, on Facebook or Twitter @DailyPelham .

Contact Pelham reporter Andrew Meola at ameola@thedailypelham.com.

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