Deadline looms for Mount Vernon school sports SOS

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As the Monday deadline loomed for a final decision on whether Mount Vernon schools will have sports in the new school year, Mayor Clinton Young said there's no other choice.

"Kids will have sports in Mount Vernon this year," Young said. "We have to do this." Young wants the school board to make up the difference in funding.

Young and others formed the Save Our Sports program to raise money after voters decided against funding sports in schools. As of last week, SOS had secured about $200,000 of the $300,000 needed to reinstate the programs.

Another $1 million is believed to be needed to keep the sports running throughout the school year.

Student-athletes have been fundraising, and some well-known celebrities are pitching in. Mount Vernon native Denzel Washington donated $100,000 and a film director who used to live in the area also donated money. Meanwhile, NBA star Ben Gordon is holding a charity bowling event to raise funds.

"We understood from the very beginning that this was not going to be a sprint ? and we understand that we'll have to do fundraisers throughout the year," Young said.

The school board will meet Monday, Aug. 11 to make a final decision on whether sports can be saved.

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