SWC football teams raise money for hospitals' COVID-19 funds

High school sports don’t resume until the fall, but four SWC football programs have a little competition going already to support health-care workers in the region.

Programs from Pomperaug, Newtown, Barlow and New Milford are raising money online. They’ve called the fundraiser “Support Frontline Workers Battling COVID-19,” rearranging the letters in “SWC FB.”

Money raised, minus the site’s processing fees, will go to COVID-19 support funds at local hospitals. The goal was to raise $10,000, and as of Friday afternoon, they’d raised $3,554 from 64 donors.

“Not to compare it with football, but they’re fourth-and-goal with no time left every single day,” Pomperaug coach Tony Pereira said.

Find the fundraiser at secure.givelively.org/donate/pomperaug-gridiron-club-inc/help-swc-fb-support-frontline-workers-battling-covid-19.

Pereira said Pomperaug does a community-service initiative every year.

“The situation we’re in is pretty conducive to doing something online,” Pereira said.

“Me personally, my wife worked in Bridgeport Hospital’s burn unit for five years. All four programs have a bunch of kids whose moms, dads, aunts, uncles are doctors or nurses.”

The fundraiser will run through the end of the month. Donors can choose the school whose fundraiser they want to support, making it a friendly battle to raise the most. Pomperaug had a small edge over Newtown on Friday.

“It gives the kids some healthy competition,” Pereira said, “because it’s been a while.”

Regardless of who wins, the plan is to split the pot evenly among Bridgeport Hospital, Danbury Hospital, Waterbury Hospital and St. Mary’s in Waterbury to support their health-care workers.

Pereira said Newtown Apparel is supporting the fundraiser with proceeds from a T-shirt, which reads “Support Connecticut Essential Workers.”

mfornabaio@ctpost.com; @fornabaioctp