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The Mighty Vikings youth football team in Jacksonville is given money to restore their field



Little Rock, Arkansas – Jacksonville’s impoverished youth football team just secured funding to renovate its dilapidated home field.

With almost 50 years of existence, the Mighty Vikings football team has played a significant role in many childhoods.

The football program was started in 1980 by Broadway Joe, a local radio personality, to provide an alternative after-school sports program for children whose families may not have the funds for equipment.

“So, when you play for the Mighty Vikings, that’s one of the things that we’re able to do, is furnish your helmet and shoulder pads. Parents just basically pay for the uniforms and everything else we provide. All volunteerism—all of our coaches—a lot of them work in the schools,” Joe said.

A few years ago, when it became clear that the team’s home field needed major repairs, the neighbors across the street discussed possible solutions with their financial advisor, Curtis Woods, who works in North Little Rock.

“And their kids had grown up with the Vikings over 40 years ago. Now, I’ve been working with the family for 40 years and I was very familiar with the [Mighty Vikings] field and I saw how the field had declined over the years,” Woods said.

Inspired, Woods started a fundraiser for the Mighty Vikings by using his affiliation with the charitable organization Modern Woodmen of America.

The total amount raised, slightly more than $5,000, was given to the Vikings on February 18.

“What Curtis did—and Modern Woodmen—is how we’ve been able to make things work…is people just seeing what’s going on the community, want to be a part of it, want to help,” Joe said.

Football is not the program’s primary goal; in addition to offering children aged 5 to 12 an after-school activity, it also aims to assist steer them in the right direction and give them access to a supportive community and positive role models.

“Man, little kids have problems too. And we got to have people that can listen to them, that can talk to them, that…just kinda help guide them in the right direction. You’d be surprised at some of the problems that kids have that they shouldn’t, but we all get in certain circumstances, but you can always make it through,” Joe said. “Having some good strong mentors and role models make a big difference.”
“It’s been a very great experience, great teammates, awesome staff, everything been going perfect,” said 11-year-old Wayae Ladell Tylor, who just joined the Mighty Vikings.
“I see the difference it makes in the community. I see the difference it can make for my son, his friends, the rest of the kids in this community. It’s vital to the community,” said James Fowler, a team coach and parent.

Sponsors who would like to cover a Mighty Vikings player’s jersey, equipment, league dues, and other expenses can do so. Click here to visit the Mighty Vikings website for additional information.


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