New York Jets Head Coach Eric Mangini and the Carmine and Frank Mangini Foundation (CFM) are preparing for the fifth annual Football Fundamentals Mini-Camp, which will take place at Mangini's high school alma mater Bulkeley High, in Hartford, Connecticut. This year, the camp will take place on Saturday, June 3; registration is due no later than May 22.
Since the inaugural camp in June 2002, participation has grown from 250 kids to more than 650 with 75 NFL coaches and players, as well as college and high school coaches on hand to teach kids the latest and most effective football techniques. However, the most important aspect of the camp is the eighth to twelfth grade students being able to learn about competition, teamwork and striving to be their best. The mission behind the camp, as well as the foundation is to provide children with positive opportunities and the ability to make good decisions
"As a student, I saw a lot of good kids make bad choices simply because they didn't have any positive options or positive role models," said Mangini. "I promised myself that if I had the opportunity, I would help provide good opportunities for these kids who are looking to do the right thing.
"I look forward to this camp every year. Football is a team building activity that teaches kids the importance of work ethic, character development and positive self image. Also the kids that come to this camp get to interact with people who have used football to be successful in life.
"I feel fortunate to be able to give something back to my community and I hope to continue to expand the important work of our foundation throughout the tri-state area in the coming years."
The Football Fundamentals Mini-Camp is one of many initiatives of the Carmine and Frank Mangini Foundation that Eric and his brother, Kyle Mangini, named in memory of their father and uncle. A non-profit organization that provides funding directed at increasing opportunities for under-resourced children, the foundation also provides computer scholarships to graduating seniors going to college and mini-grants that provide teachers and coaches with funds need to pursue projects outside of their budgets. The CFM mini-grant recipients have included students traveling to NASA, a girls' basketball team playing in a summer league, freshman football for all three Hartford high schools, and a high school football team purchasing equipment to replace used and stolen equipment.
Registration forms are available at www.cfmfoundation.com. Though the registration fee is $45, no youth is turned away for financial reasons. The Foundation relies solely on volunteers to manage the program. All proceeds go to the benefit of the CFM Foundation.