PEORIA, Ill. — Coming off of a victorious weekend earlier this month, Woodruff JFL was devastated when their shed was hit by a driver in a Chevy truck.
Now the local youth football program is on their own in rebuilding their equipment shed.
Officials say the driver of the vehicle is not the owner of the truck and has no insurance on the truck.
Woodruff JFL has no insurance on the shed located near the Peoria Public Schools Administration Building.
Director of Woodruff JFL Vanessa Farraher says there are many ways the community can show support.
“We also have some nights we’re out in the community eating. We have one Monday at Red Robin in East Peoria from 5-8 and on December 2nd we have Portillo’s from 4-8,” Farraher said.
If you attend these nights out, you just tell the cashier you’re there for Woodruff JFL.
Farraher says the program is looking for monetary donations and materials to rebuild the shed.
“I would say the most immediate need would be the material. Just to get this started. This getting replaced is our number one priority, because obviously you can feel how cold it is in here,” Farraher said.
Vanessa says she’s had both positive and negative reaction from community members.
“It’s been mixed, a lot of people would inbox my coaches and ask them “Why are you soliciting for donations when we have insurance?” Then we have the other half that’s like “Hey, let me know what I can do to help and I’ll volunteer some labor or whatever I can,” Farraher said.
“It’s a ton of pressure because we’re already starting with zero. Now we have to raise like 10-grand to get this building repaired by next July,” Farraher added.
JFL of central Illinois sent WMBD the total loss sheets. From the crash, there was $11,410.96 worth of damages.
Among the damaged equipment in the shed were four trophies Woodruff JFL had won the weekend before the shed was crashed into.
“Fortunately we were able to get the trophies replaced and we had them present for the awards ceremony we had last week,” Farraher said.
She adds although this has been very tough on the kids, they’re sticking together through thick and thin.
“The kids were sad at first, but they’re kids and they rebound a lot faster than adults do. At the award ceremony, they were holding up their trophies and showing off their medals. I think they’re doing a lot better than us adults are,” Farraher said.
Farraher says she’s ready to get this all taken care of and continue on next year.
“I’m ready for July. I want all this past us and then start new next year,” Farraher said.
If you are interested in helping Woodruff JFL out, we have the link to the GoFundMe here.