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HOPE FOR THE FUTURE
The Steelers find funding.
By Jonathan Kaminsky
A Richmond company plans to sponsor the Richmond Steelers with money for equipment, transportation, and space for a new after-school tutoring program. The sponsorship is a first for the program, which has been around for more than thirty years. United Heritage Industries, a construction and development firm, described its new role as a partnership with the Steelers and the city of Richmond. At a press conference on Monday to announce the sponsorship, UHI co-owner Kevin Hampton presented the Steelers with a check for $3,000, which he described as seed money. The sponsorship came about after team supporters expressed frustration over the city's perceived lack of support, both financial and otherwise, in an article in The Contra Costa Times last week. At the press conference, coach Fred Harris, who was not quoted in the article, expressed anger that people not directly affiliated with the Steelers spoke on the organization's behalf. He and Richmond Mayor Irma Anderson both said they looked forward to working together to translate the organization's success on the field into results for students in the classroom and to make the Steelers more financially stable. This year, the Steelers planned to skip an annual postseason trip to a Las Vegas football tournament they'd won each of the last two years due to lack of funds. When an article in The Contra Costa Times prompted donations of more than $30,000 from individuals and local charities, the team was able to make the trip. With the new support, all parties hope that such last-minute cash infusions will no longer be necessary.
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