By Denise Richardson
The Daily Star
---- — Christmas arrived a week early for four Oneonta community groups.
The Oneonta City Stallions football team gave $500 to each of four charity or nonprofit organizations.
The recipients were the Oneonta Family YMCA, the Lord’s Table and Saturday’s Bread, two feeding programs, and the Oneonta Boys and Girls Club, where checks were presented Monday.
“We certainly appreciate your help,’’ Carl Delberta, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club on River Street, told team co-owner Thomas Terry. “We appreciate it greatly.’’
The $2,000 was provided by a donor who wished to remain anonymous, Terry said. The donor wanted to support not only the amateur football team but also its involvement in the community, he said.
The donations to local charitable organizations were a gesture of thanks to the community for supporting the football team, team co-owner Angela Eardley said. The gifts to the YMCA and the Boys and Girls Club are to support summer sports programs, she said.
Frank Russo, executive director of the local YMCA, said the donation is “very helpful’’ and will provide scholarships to summer programs for youths who otherwise might not be able to participate.
A representative from Saturday’s Bread didn’t attend Monday afternoon’s gift-giving gathering.
For the Lord’s Table, the contribution fills an immediate need, said Joyce Mason, director of the feeding ministries of St. James’ Episcopal Church. The program has lost more than $5,000 in support from grant sources, she said, and the Stallions’ donation will go toward food purchases.
“It’s amazing what I can do with rice and beans,’’ Mason said. The Lord’s Table serves 70 meals five nights a week, she said.
The Stallions team organization has had fundraisers for local charities and community groups and has volunteered at services such as Saturday’s Bread feeding program, Eardley said.
Eardley, a stay-at-home mother, and Terry, senior director of the supply chain for Bassett Healthcare Network, are Oneonta residents. The team has been in business for four years, she said.
Terry said the anonymous donor wanted to support Oneonta because the community supports the football team. The donor and team share a desire to provide sports opportunities for young men after school years, Terry said, and a fun family environment for fans.