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Capital One Bank saves Warrior Football practice sessions

Capital One Bank is doing right by the Warriors Football Club and cheerleading program.

The bank came through with a grant after increased security at Lehman High School made renting gyms on the campus more expensive.

The Warriors eventually got a break on some of the costs, but renting the gyms still would have been cost prohibitive, with parents shouldering the increased fees.

Lenny Caro, CEO of the Bronx Chamber of Commerce and a parent of a child in the league, reached out to John Habermann, Bronx marketing president for Capital One Bank. Habermann, who grew up in the Bronx, immediately recognized the importance of the Warrior football program, and was able to arrange a $3,000 grant for the league to cover the additional costs.

“The Warrior program has been around in since 1954,” Habermann said. “As Bronx marketing president for Capital One Bank, it is my job to give assistance to programs that benefit the community. The Warrior football and cheer program certainly is a program which many young people benefit from.”

League president Jay Demers said that the grant will go a long way in terms of keeping the Warrior football and cheer programs affordable and accessible to young boys and girls. The tackle program has been in existence since 1954, and the cheer program for the past 40 years.

Demers said that he was grateful.

“The Capital One Bank grant is going to make a big difference because we will not be paying more than last year,” Demers said. “They have put up the money for the remainder of our season, which goes through mid-March.”

The league ran into trouble when it went to apply for permits as practice was about to move inside Lehman High School for the winter. After applying for permits after Labor Day, he said he was initially told that the use of the gym would cost three times as much as it had in the previous year.

Finally, after appealing to elected officials, the cost was reduced as the school’s administration agreed to let the Warriors use the gym at times when other groups were also in the building, defraying the cost of the additional security that operate the metal detectors at the school. Nevertheless, the fees are substantially more than just a few years ago.

“Up until four years ago, we just made contributions to the Lehman athletic program,” Demers said. “We used our own security, which consisted of off-duty police officers who would volunteer their time and had children in the league. This year we were told that we could no longer do that.”

Habermann said that the grant is part of Capital One Bank’s ongoing commitment to the young people of the borough. He said that Capital One Bank offers financial literacy for young people, and even operates a full-functional bank branch run by students at Fordham Leadership Academy. The branch helps to teach young people about the banking industry and financial responsibility.

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