Update: Concerned Parent Asks About Comsewogue PAL Program Costs

A concerned Comsewogue parent sent in a letter to the editor to express his concern over registration fees and fundraiser monetary management

Editor's Note: Below is an unedited Letter to the Editor sent by a concerned resident named John Doe. 

This letter is written by a very concerned parent. My family has been involved with the PAL Football program since the 70’s as players, coaches and administrators and spanning over multiple towns and counties. I was excited to get my sons involved with the Comsewogue PAL program. From the beginning I felt that the registration fee was a bit steep as compared to other towns. When I asked why I was giving some very legitimate and reasonable answers. i.e. We are a new district and pay a little more for insurance but eventually that fee will drop over a few seasons. Also, we had to purchase start-up equipment but after the first year that cost should also be significantly lower. With those answers I had no problem shelling out more money to help the league start up.

Flash forward 4 years.  The registration fee is the same. Still no break on the insurance. The cost for buying start up equipment should be well behind us since we are reusing equipment year to year. Enrollment seems to be on the rise with the addition of the flag football team and the fact we had so many kids register for the 10 year old team we had to split them into two teams. So I ask the question again. Why is the registration fee still so high and why don’t you look for lower rates on insurance?

Do you have the best interest of the parents in mind?

Year to year the parents are ask (forced) to sell (buy) $80 worth of raffle tickets. The raffle is to help pay for the trophies and the trophy dinner for the players. The parents are made to pay an additional fee to go the trophy dinner. Have you been to any of the football dinners? The food and the venues are getting cheaper and cheaper. Not worthy of the price we are paying.

Fundraisers have been organized to help raise money. For what; Off-set the cost to parents for registration fees? Or get us a better quality meal and venue for the already over-priced dinner? Help pay for fields and referees? (Which should already be figured into the registration fee). This year we had a car wash and a bake sale. We were told we did very well at both of these events. The car wash was packed all day. How did this money benefit the teams? Where did the money go? Heck, we didn’t even get trophies or a subpar meal. We even used the left over bake sale food to restock the concession stand. Did you know the parents purchased the items that were sold at the bake sale? When those items were then sold at the game there was no cost to the league. Should we be responsible for food sold at the concession?  What does my son playing football have to do with sales at the concession?

This year when uniforms were handed out I noticed my son had no socks included. This seems like no big deal but when you think about the financial and time commitment made to play in this league it really starts to make you wonder. Then to add insult to injury I was required to purchase pink socks for breast cancer month. I am all for showing support but are we not getting uniform socks anymore? Where is our money going?

I walk around Comsewogue and see Shirts, shorts, towels, blankets and all kinds of apparel. What is the profit margin on these items and where is the money going? You would think with the sales of apparel, the fundraising, the volunteers and the cutting costs our registration should be next to nothing.

Don’t get me started on the requirement for parents to work the concession stand. With the $225 registration (not to mention those of us who have multiple kids in the program), the mandatory $80 raffle sales the purchasing of other equipment not supplied by the league and  purchasing items to be sold at the fundraisers. Why do I have to then miss any of my kids’ game by standing in the concession stand? I have paid a lot of money and committed a lot of time so I can watch my kids play football, not to make even more money for the league.

Now I see registration for next season is starting. The Registration fee is still the same. We still have no trophies from last season. No dinner we sold raffle tickets for. No raffle prizes have been given away or announced for the people we did sell tickets to. It seems we didn’t finish last season and we are being asked to shell out for the next season.

I hope this email gets people asking questions. I hope there are reasonable answers to all these questions. I would like a response to these questions. I think we all deserve to know what is going on. If we don’t get satisfactory answers we should ask the PAL to help answer some of them. We are a football family. We love the sport. We support Comsewogue Sports. Why should we feel we are taken advantage of?

I would like to conclude by thanking the efforts of all the coaches and the parents who dedicate so much time to our children. Many coaches throw pizza and ice cream party’s using their own money. They open their homes and make the teams feel like a family. The parents of Comsewogue truly deserve real answers.

Show me the money!

Thank You,

A Concerned Comsewogue Parent

In response to the above letter, Christopher Ventura, one of the board members of the CYFA, has setup a meeting for parents to come discuss their grievances and get any questions answered. Ventura said "To all those that are questioning C.Y.F.A. and more specifically myself, my wife and the other members of the board let me say this for the last time. We have an open door meeting scheduled for this Thursday at 7:00 pm at JFK Middle School where we will address any and all concerns. We will not be dragged into this back and forth nonsense. You have dragged our names through the mud and we have taken and will continue to take the high road until Thursdays meeting where hopefully we can put your minds at ease. Thank you."

Football Dad January 29, 2014 at 08:27 PM
Yeah you just don't get it bob 'Concerned parent' stops becoming concerned parent and starts becoming lowlife scum when you start accusing people of stealing and embezzling. Apparently that is not something you can grasp.
Football Mom January 29, 2014 at 09:43 PM
Since most if the posters here have strayed off topic, I have a question for all you ardent supporters of the Venturas. I respect that you want to support them and that is your very right to do so. I have nothing against them whatsoever. They have always been neighborly to my family. I would like to see this all clear up for their sake. But that doesn't mean that there can't be any public questioning about the financials of a NFP organization. My question is how are all you supporters so sure of where you stand? Do you have privileges to the league's accounting that we ordinary non-league people have? I mean, isn't the accounting records supposed to be open to the public anyway? Oh sorry that was two questions. Please don't hang me or burn a cross on my lawn. That's what this whole thing seems like it has become.
Football Dad January 29, 2014 at 10:43 PM
Funny since you were the one who strayed the topic by ripping an innocent coach hiding behind your alias I have no issues with the fees... I have family in other leagues and these fees are all in line with CYFA fees... I don't care where the car wash or bake sale money went..id rather have my kids play on good fields and with proper equipment You clearly have no idea what it takes to run a league You know how to rip innocent people and then play the woe is me - poor housewife card by blaming all the mean people on here. I hope you get out from behind the computer and go to the meeting tomorrow. Prob get your answers there and all your balance sheets
Tyme January 29, 2014 at 11:13 PM
Football dad you must be very wealthy not to have to worry about where all the money is going too. I thought pjs was a middle class working town. I don't ever want to get to the point where I have to tell my kids they can't participate because I can't afford it. I thought fund raisers were to help bring costs down. If we bring the cost down more kids can afford to join and that would only benefit everyone. But I guess benefiting everyone is not what this is all about, only the elite few.
Football Dad January 30, 2014 at 06:14 AM
Just what I was hoping for. Another anonymous poster.... A shame football mom can't answer for herself---she had to make another anonymous account up.. First off- I make plenty of money in my job. Perhaps if money is an issue for you- stop being lazy and either A- get a 1st job or B- get a 2nd job. You're going to call me elite- can I call you trash? Seems fair to me... I'm the wrong guy to have a pity party with regarding what things cost. As long as our kids have safe fields and safe equipment and are taught the right way- I'm happy So I take it your children do not at any other sports? They don't play lacrosse or basketball? Those things cost money too... Why don't we do this 'Tyme' let's chat tonight and is be more than happy to discuss any matter with you...
Tyme January 30, 2014 at 06:24 AM
Love it!! When someone makes a good point your start calling them names. What was your name?? I didn't seem to catch it. Hmmm. I wonder if you are someone that left your name already but maybe it didn't work out for you. You are a classy fellow!!!
Football Dad January 30, 2014 at 06:37 AM
Wrong-- stupid..... Lazy... Feel free to look at the threads... If you can navigate your way through- which I highly doubt while u get lost in all your aliases Why don't u do what u can't and stick to the issues.... C'mon - stick to one alias and come at me... You'll see me tonight- that's for sure... I know cowards like you won't put the effort in. Since money is real right for you, I'm sure you can't afford the gas money for the 1 mile trek..
Football Mom January 30, 2014 at 07:14 AM
You are such a disgrace Jim
Football Mom January 30, 2014 at 07:22 AM
You are so arrogant yet your just as afraid to post your real name like all of us are. Why don't you man up like your friends say. Oh wait I forgot who wears the pants in your family!
Football Mom January 30, 2014 at 07:47 AM
And if you would just use a fraction of the intelligence that you perpetuate to have plenty of and re-read John Does original letter, you would see that he never once accused Chris or Chrissy of stealing or embezzling. Those were your words. All he did was raise legitimate questions that all Americans may raise concerning a NFP org. And if you have any intelligence left over after using what was needed to understand that point, you can then use a clever little website called Google and there you can find an astounding number of facts about the league. People who contribute to the league will want to ask questions after reading all those facts. And they should be allowed to bring up questions whether or not they want to share their names. There is no law that says otherwise.
Jim January 30, 2014 at 08:22 AM
Sorry to disappoint you lady... I have no part in this conversation.... Perhaps you can find something else to do than to worry about me... It doesn't make sense to get mad at a coward for the things they say, so none of what you say or have said about me bothers me in any way and has no bearing on my life. I don't care who you, don't care who your son is- but feel free to say any of this to my face tonight..
Earl January 30, 2014 at 09:41 AM
Funny how it degenerates to name calling! I hope someone takes video of the meeting and posts it unedited for all to see, or is the league afraid of that? That is also why things she be posted online. People have work and families to take care of, not everyone can run off to something like this.
Bob D January 30, 2014 at 10:35 AM
If you haven't noticed,,, in Football Dads last sentence a few post up, he says ""Why don't we do this 'Tyme' let's chat tonight and is be more than happy to discuss any matter with you""… Hmmm could Football dad be someone involved in running the league. Or maybe even a Ventura? Whoever Football dad is, they seem real offended & touchy….
Tyme January 30, 2014 at 10:53 AM
Yes, Bob. I made that connection. My guess its the equipment manager.....let me see, who is that again?
Bob D January 30, 2014 at 11:00 AM
And Earl,,, your right someone should video it & have someone from the media sit in on it. Because from all Im hearing is that this meeting is being set up to drown out the few concerned parent that weren't scared out of coming. Like you see on here, theres been a lot of scare tactics to scare the concerned parents out of coming. And what I heard is the ones running the league are gonna try & fill the room with nasty supporters like you see on here. These supporters are getting nasty for no reason. When in all reality,,, they have no idea if the people there sticking up for are innocent or guilty of any crimes…
Football Dad January 30, 2014 at 11:34 AM
good try 'Tyme'. my offer still stands. have some guts and show your face tonight, and you can say whatever you want while im 2 feet from you. why dont you keep trying. Im not Jim and im not a ventura and im not an 'equipment manager'.which makes me laugh since you are that clueless to think there is a dedicated equipment manager for a youth league and somehow with a mind like that you are questioning where the funds go? its so hypocritical to blast others for trying to uncover how big a fraud you are but you people do the same thing. Bob and Earl- you 2 should just go away forever... Why dont one of you come and record the meeting, instead of asking others to do it for you? coward! im sure the league would gladly have you clowns sit in and see what running a league is all about.. Bob- there you go again with accusations of crimes. I hope you arent too scared to show up tonight, but something tells me you will be sitting behind your laptop pecking away at the keyboards..Im touchy and offended? sorry that I have enough of a clue to know what it takes to run a youth football league and all the items that go with it- and find the fact that you would accuse someone of a crime w/o knowing what goes on is deplorable. Im offended, when a bunch of no- nothing housewives think they can bash good people associated with helping children achieve a better life through sports. damn right im offended. you should be too but youre more offended about a few hundred dollars in bake sale money. beyond pathetic. sorry your life has been filled with misery and always thinking you got screwed. sorry boss,its not everyone elses fault youre a loser. good thing is, and Let me say again,tonight you will have the opportunity to face these war criminals and demand the bake sale money be used for something more appropriate,like an 'equipment manager'
Susan Gagnon January 30, 2014 at 11:35 AM
I am asking everyone to end this blog now. Please do not engage these people any longer - especially Bob D who to me is a ranting lunatic. Bob, I do not know where you live but you do not know much about the Port Jeff Station community. So to everyone who lives in this community, what is happening on this blog is not what we are about. John Doe - I hope you are happy with yourself - I truly believe this could have been handled in a much better fashion but that is water under the bridge. In the twelve years that I have lived here I have seen so much good. Here are just a few things to remind everyone what we are about -- when we were hit with Hurricane Sandy, our high school was flooded with residents bringing diapers, water, food, clothes, blankets for people who were in need; when children in our community were diagnosed with cancer (which, unfortunately have been several, and the real tragedy here), everyone stepped up and ran fundraisers and donated money to help defray the costs of medical care; when a person's home goes on fire . . . should I keep going. Or, how about this, go on to our school website and you will see what we are trying to teach our children. Each month, each day there is a word or a quote about how we want our children to behalf. Respect, dignity, integrity. This month the word at JFK is Integrity. Here is the quote for today on the JFK website: “Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip.” Enough said. And let's not forget our wonderful superintendent, Joe Rella's weekly message. In his message, he tells us about the wonderful things happening around town and ends with something about bullying and how to make things better in the world we live. So I am saying to everyone, end it here and I will see you all tonight. Susan Gagnon
Football Mom January 30, 2014 at 11:45 AM
John Doe didn't do any wrong. He merely had questions about the financials. He used his right to voice his concerns and used his right to remain anonymous. It is those who started bullying the anonymous who made this ugly.
Football Mom January 30, 2014 at 11:46 AM
Dr Rella will be at JFK tonight. Why not invite him to the cafeteria to listen in?
Football Dad January 30, 2014 at 11:56 AM
excuse me FM? man you have a short memory- you need a history lesson.. you are the biggest bully on this site!!!! calling people out- calling them a disgrace, a liar, a bully, a fraud, and a criminal.. This is why noone takes you serious
Tyme January 30, 2014 at 12:33 PM
Football Dad - Form CHAR410R states that there is an equipment manager.
Bob D January 30, 2014 at 12:46 PM
I'm amazed Susan that you'd have the audacidy to complain about my posts, rather then people like Football Dad. Who says all he does, but won't post his name. That you'd have a problem with my posts sticking up for the concerned parents. Saying I have ranted. Says a real lot about you to take sides against all the many concerned parents. And condone the low class talk coming from Football Dad, or whoever that is hiding. And to Football Dad, or a Ventura or whoever you are. Sincerely good people aren't people who act like you. And boy your an angry person. Signs of a guilty person. Seems like your the only one on here making threats, telling a woman to say what she has to, too your face. What would you do if she did? Seems like your the only classless, coward on here. I'm wondering if you have a sister, gf, wife. If so I'll pray for them. And so you know what its like or takes to run a league huh?
Matthew spahr January 30, 2014 at 01:27 PM
7pm at JFK right? Just making sure we all have the same info. See you guys there.
Earl January 30, 2014 at 02:54 PM
Sounds like Susan i sjust another recruit to defend the league. You call for a stop to this blog then proceed to write a book. I've been around this community a LOT longer than you have, and have seen stuff like this over and over. There are little cliques in this community that think they run the show. Those cliques are being represented by the likes of a select few here.
Scott Wepner January 30, 2014 at 03:58 PM
Isn’t there is a Public meeting every year for the CYFL? Please tell me the same questions were posed at those meetings and not just on the patch over the last couple of weeks? No one is against some honest questioning. What people are against is questioning hidden in the fashion of an attack. It would have been real simple to say to the league at any meeting “ I need to get an understanding of the finances for this league if I am going to attach my families name to it and have my son play” That is a reasonable and acceptable sentence. On top of all of that the league called for a meeting tonight to address concerns. I personally don’t believe for a second that anyone ever approached the league and asked any questions directly. We all found this out in this forum on the patch. What we are all really angry about is an anonymous attack against people that have stepped up and helped our kids and community. Yes that’s right, we are angry and we are standing up to that attack and not questions about finances. I am not letting go of my good feelings for my families both old and new experiences in this league. There are 5 or 6 people posting that they are concerned about the finances, ok what about the hundreds of other parents and their kids that are having a terrific experience that don’t have an issue, why should they sit back and let an anonymous group try to tarnish and poison thier experiences without a fight? For the record, I am just a parent not a coach and not related to any. I hope the patch closes down and deletes this whole string after tonight. Stay Classy Comsewogue!
Football Mom January 30, 2014 at 04:05 PM
Scott this is one of the issues. No annual meetings. Most parents don't even know who is on the board other than Chris and Chrissy.
Football Mom January 30, 2014 at 04:08 PM
Scott. I said before that I wasn't all that concerned. I've known the Venturas for years before even football. But when questions started going around, I too began to wonder. So I took to google and found many things that don't look right.
Scott Wepner January 30, 2014 at 04:11 PM
Ok. Bring your findings. There are plenty of things I found on the internet that don't look right. That doesn't mean it is the truth.
Earl February 04, 2014 at 01:11 PM
So what was the outcome? Did the John Doe's get the info they were after?
Bob D February 05, 2014 at 12:53 AM
From what everyone's saying is the meeting was handled professionally & everything was kept civilized. But alot of people are saying while presenting the financials, they fluffed alot of #'s & inflated the spending with alot of bs. And no real answers to why fees arent being reduced in a middle class area. (Which raffle & bake sale money was suppose to be meant for). A raffle where nobody knows who or if anyone won. And no questions to other fees, like why the parents are being charged over $150 for a BJ's card, when its $50 a year... Or why supposedly money is going towards highschool program needs. Alot of people are afraid to speak out, because there afraid there children wont see the field or get play time again if they do. I'm sure after this meeting, everything will still be kept secret on the accurate financials. They had to make things look real good at the meeting, they didnt know who maybe there watching. I wish I was there, I work evenings sometimes.


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