Youth football players in Butts County all have brand new headgear thanks to donations from the Jackson-Butts County Rotary Club and the Butts County Sheriff’s Office.
The Rotary Club on Sept. 10 presented 115 helmets to the Butts County Department of Leisure Services, and hosted a program on the topic of concussion in youth sports. The guest speaker was Laura Lyles, sports medicine supervisor for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
Lee Williams, president of the Jackson-Butts County Rotary Club, said the cost of the helmets presented by Rotary was roughly $8,000.
He said the helmets were a request of Butts County Leisure Services Director Mary Lynn Overbey.
“Mary Lynn, the director, came to us and said this was a major need, and that’s how we’re showing up in the community,” Williams said.
Overbey said when the Rotary Club offered to fund new helmets for all of the program’s players, which are in the age range of 6 to 12 years old, there were 113 children registered. “Well, we ended up with 20 more kids that signed up after that,” she said.
Overbey said Butts County Sheriff Gary Long then offered to fund the purchase of the remaining helmets needed, at roughly $80 each.
“All of the (old) helmets were out of date and we had to replace them,” Overbey said. “They have to be reconditioned every couple of years, and these had been reconditioned out. They couldn’t be reconditioned anymore. So we had to end up replacing them.”
She about 20 older helmets were still serviceable, so they will be used for practice.
Overbey said the donation of helmets has been a considerable help to the Leisure Services Department.
“We really didn’t have money in our budget this year to take of it, so it was a tremendous help to the county for the Rotary Club and the sheriff’s office to step up,” Overbey said.