Waianae pee wee football team seeks funds for 'once-in-a-lifetime' trip to nationals

Waianae pee wee football team seeks funds for 'once-in-a-lifetime' trip to nationals

WAIANAE, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - By Victoria Cuba

For the Waianae Tigers Jr. Pee Wee football team, winning the Hawaii Division I championship on Sunday was more than enough to make them happy.

When they heard that they were going to represent the state at National Pop Warner Super Bowl in Orlando next month they were ecstatic.

"They were jumping up and down," said the Tigers' Fundraising Coordinator Kelli Timoteo. "For Pop Warner, this is their Super Bowl."

But the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity doesn't come cheap.

There are 27 players and eight coaches scheduled to leave December 2. Airfare, room and other expenses are expected to cost $1,500 a head.

"When the reality hits you that you have to turn in $1,600 per child -- whoa," said Timoteo.

She added that the kids are determined to raise the funds to make the trip. They've already started reaching out to the community for help, and have started a GoFundMe page.

"Especially when you're from Waianae, you don't get to do that kind of thing," she said.  "Some of the players have only dreamed about this. This is a memory that will last them a lifetime."

Parents see it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, too, and are doing everything they can to help. Some have even taken out loans.

"Every parent has to do whatever they can do for their child," said Timoteo.

The team plans to host a Portuguese Horse Shoe event Sunday at 11 a.m. at Pililaau Park in Waianae. The Waianae Tigers Football Association also plans to host an event at Maile Sunset Bar & Grill on November 27. There will be pupus and raffles from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.

"We are very blessed with this opportunity," said Timoteo. "Every dollar makes a difference."

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