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Op-Ed: Ludlow Youth Football Responds to Litigation, News Articles

Ludlow Youth Football is more than just a sports organization, we are a family. For some players and cheerleaders, this is the case both literally and figuratively.

Recently several articles have appeared in area news outlets that seemingly attempt to call into question the integrity of the organization, as well as our members and volunteers. After much deliberation, we, the Ludlow Youth Football (LYF) Board of Directors, determined it was necessary to respond.

Ludlow Youth Football is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization, incorporated in 1992 and comprised of four football teams, as well as, three cheerleading squads serving more than 100 youth participants in Ludlow, Bromley, and surrounding areas. Our monthly meetings are open to the public and include bank statement reviews as part of the agenda.

There is no disputing that the City of Ludlow has provided financial sponsorship and other support measures to the annual Ludlow Summer Fireworks Festival, a tradition that dates back more than five decades. For a brief period of time, the City of Ludlow itself organized and ran the festival.

In 2007, with possible cancellation of the festival looming the City of Ludlow’s current Mayor, then councilman, approached LYF regarding the possibility of our organization taking over responsibilities for the event. Since then the festival has become the largest fundraiser for Ludlow Youth Football.

As part of the agreement, the City of Ludlow, as the primary sponsor of the festival, agreed to provide up to $8,000 towards the fireworks portion of the event, with possible reductions resulting from damages to the park and other previously agreed upon overages. Payment for the fireworks was made by the city directly to the fireworks vendor, not to Ludlow Youth Football.

Now, with the NKYFL (Northern Kentucky Youth Football League) new season rapidly approaching (summer practices are set to begin on July 18), our organization finds itself in a quandary. Due to pending litigation brought by the city, it became necessary to delay the purchase of some new equipment needed for the 2016 season.

It is our belief that this legal action is retaliatory and we view it as a bullying tactic. Ludlow Youth Football remains “LYF Strong” and we’re steadfast in our determination to move forward with the 2016 season as planned.

Ultimately, the primary objective of our organization is to provide our youth with opportunities to exercise, form friendships, and learn sportsmanship in a safe, team-oriented environment, while keeping them off of the streets. For LYF, it is now, and will always be, about the youth, not the money.

The  2016 Ludlow Summer Fireworks Festival will be held Friday, June 3 and Saturday, June 4 at Ludlow Park located at 500 Elm Street (Route 8) in Ludlow.

Submitted by the Board of Directors of Ludlow Youth Football

Photo: Ludlow Summer Fireworks Festival in 2015 (RCN file)