HOUSTON – They call themselves the La Porte Texans, and they are 175 of the hardest-hitting, hardest-working junior football players and cheerleaders in the Texas Inner City Football League.
But now, all the kids involved, ages 5 to 13 years old, are reeling after getting hit with a cheap shot.
A short time ago, they ordered and paid for 260 custom-designed T-shirts with their team logo on them.
The team, boys and girls, worked hard to raise money to pay the $1,600 cost for printing the shirts.
But when the shirts were delivered to team organizers, more than half of them were missing.
Of the shirts that were delivered, many were misprinted, had paint runs or were simply not printed at all. They were blank shirts.
“How can you do this to kids and how can you do this to an organization like ours? We don’t have money for this," said Amberley Boggs, team secretary for the La Porte Texans. "We don’t have bleachers. Our scoreboard doesn’t work. We barely have a concession stand, and now this."
Team organizers said the woman who runs the company that took their money didn’t even allow organizers a chance to look the shirts over for problems before she jumped into her truck and drove off.
“She literally dropped several big boxes of the shirts off in the parking lot of this storage facility where we were told to meet her," Boggs said. "She dumped the boxes onto the pavement and, without saying anything, she jumped in her vehicle and drove away. We were stunned."
To make matters worse, Boggs said, the kids raised all of that money through several fundraisers that they worked very hard on.
“It’s what these kids worked so hard for," Boggs said. "They sold chocolate. They sold raffle tickets. They worked really hard for that money, and it’s like these people just took it."
With nowhere else to turn, that’s when the La Porte Texans called Spencer Solves It.
Right away, we contacted the printing and promotional pros at Buffalo Specialties in Houston. The silk screening and embroidery company has been making custom shirts for more than 35 years.
In fact, the company has produced World Series playoff shirts for the Houston Astros in the past and will be doing that again if the Astros make it that far again this season.
After hearing what happened to the Texans, company President Norman Stalarow could not wait to help out.
“I mean, I could not just stand by and see these hard-working kids lose out on the shirts that they wanted," Stalarow said. "It’s just not right."
So now, the dedicated workers at Buffalo Specialties will produce more than 400 custom-made shirts for the La Porte Texans, complete with their team logo and team colors.
The job will take about two weeks or so to complete. Stalarow is doing all of this free of charge.
As for the Texans, team organizers said the kids are just thrilled they will get their shirts after all.
“We are just so thankful that you took the time to come out to La Porte, Texas, to support and help our kids," said Boggs with tears in her eyes. "Thank you so much, Bill."