WEST MEAD TOWNSHIP —
The community continues to rally around the Crawford County Youth Soccer Association in the wake of an Aug. 10 burglary and arson that caused an estimated $100,000 in damage.
A donation totaling $8,600 will be announced at the start of tonight’s concert by The Band Perry at the Crawford County Fair, according to Palmerio Toyota-Scion co-owner Allison Palmerio-Brady. Area Toyota dealers are sponsoring the concert and Palmerio Toyota-Scion, along with Toyota corporate, Scion corporate and AutoTrader teamed up to provide the donation.
Palmerio-Brady was moved to act out of her knowledge of CCYSA’s impact on the community. Not only did she play in the association’s league, many of her co-workers at the dealership on the Conneaut Lake Road in Vernon Township and its customers have played or have children who do.
“If there is an organization that affects more people in Crawford County, I’d be surprised,” she said. “I cannot imagine having those soccer fields there. When they need help it is the right thing to do.”
Coverage of the incident in the Tribune, including an impassioned letter to the editor from former CCYSA board member Nancy Frambes, was the key to unlocking corporate donations, Palmerio-Brady said.
Palmerio-Brady’s announcement is the second significant donation CCYSA has received since the incident. Last week, Vernon Township Volunteer Fire Department President Bill Reichel delivered a $1,000 check and challenged other local fire departments to step up, too.
“What people have done for us is amazing after an event where we basically lost everything,” said John McGlinn, president of CCYSA. “It really makes you proud to be a member of the community that individuals and businesses are community minded and are so willing to step forward and help.”
McGlinn said the association wants to go slow once it begins the rebuilding process, but its first plans for use of the donated money is to purchase enough equipment to get through the rest of the travel season this fall.
“The bulk of it will go toward rebuilding the storage building,” he said. “I’m sure we’ll be able to make things better than they were.”
State police have arrested and jailed two suspects who await court action.
Matthew Scott Kerr, 21, of 11067 Scarlet Ave., Meadville, is charged with breaking into the CCYSA storage shed on Townline Road in West Mead Township and burning down two buildings on the property. Kerr also is charged by state police with burning down another unoccupied garage on Schenenberg Road in Randolph Township.
Dakota Wayne Little, 21, of 9045 Perry Highway, Meadville, faces charges of burglary, criminal trespass, theft by unlawful taking and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. Police accuse Little of breaking into the CCYSA storage shed on Townline Road and taking a golf cart.