- November 12, 2021
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Garrettsville – On November 4, RJ Rettig, President of Garrettsville Youth Football League, presented a $400 check to Freedom House in support of local homeless veterans. With Veterans Day being observed November 11, Rettig said they wanted to make the donation as part of their patriotic duty.
Freedom House is a nonprofit social service organization offering transitional housing at a facility in Kent for military veterans experiencing homelessness. It also provides job placement services, sobriety treatment, assistance securing benefits and medical/dental treatment, and court support.
Program manager Lisa McGhee and case manager Ashley Cloud accepted the check on behalf of Freedom House. As siblings of veterans, their work at Freedom House is personal for them. “We’re in this with our hearts,” they said.
The 14-bed facility is currently occupied by nine veterans, six of whom came to the presentation to show their gratitude to the league for its donation. They included Antonio Brantley, Jordan Brenner, Robert Barclay, Andrew Lucas, Byron Miller and James Gamble.
The check represented half of the proceeds the youth football league raised during Summerfest 2021 to help offset the costs of their red, white and blue jerseys and equipment. The youth sold drinks and T-shirts out in front of Main Street Barber Shop of Garrettsville, established in 2020 by veteran Chris Blewitt.
“None of this would have been possible without Chris,” Rettig said.
Boys representing the Garrettsville Youth Football League included teammates Marc Grubb and Colton Rettig (who enjoyed an undefeated season) and Cameron Baillie, whose team was runner-up in the Super Bowl.
Estelle R. Brown is a freelance writer who lives in Garrettsville with her family. She has written and taken photos for newspapers, magazines and e-zines for the past 25 years. She also enjoys working on public relations projects, including web content, newsletters, posters, brochures, press releases, and other creative endeavors. She enjoys writing compelling stories about her community as a contributing reporter for the Villager.
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