By Jorge Villalobos
Flag Football, food and fun was the name of the game at the El Centro Regional Medical’s “Tackling Disabilities,” event. The event which at first hosted “Tackling Autism,” evolved to take on a wider scope of disabilities, to raise money for the ECRMC Foundation. Which in turn will buy new equipment and prepare a better staff to take on today’s ailments.
“We chose a cause, a cause that was near and dear to some ECRMC employees,” explained Mary Dinely, Executive Director of the ECRMC Foundation. She explained that the ECRMC employees wanted to have a flag football challenge game to which the proceeds went to the special education school and the ECRMC Foundation. The school will be purchasing new supplies and audio/visual equipment that they are unable to purchase with their current budget.
“The Foundation, we’re purchasing needed medical equipment that’s also not in our budget and to support many, many needed programs like the Imperial Valley Asthma Program,” explained Dinely. “The whole concept was originally brought to me by Ron Martinez, he’s an ECRMC employee he works for the I.T. Department and he has a daughter that is Autistic, so they wanted to do a football game with proceeds going to charity.”
Dinely explained that one thing lead to another and the event began to what it is today. Last year it was a clear face off between Pioneer’s Memorial Hospital and the ECRMC. This year a new comer has joined the small tourney, along with PMH and ECRMC, the I.V. Center for Exceptional Children (known by their on-field name as Dirty Divas), has thrown its hat into the mix. For the Men’s events, the Imperial Valley Fire Fighters faced off against the male PMH team. The winner of each males and females teams would go up to face ECRMC, to challenge them as the event intends.
“Everyone has just been thrilled about it, we sold quite a few tickets, I’m hoping for this to be a profitable event,” added Dinely. “Already, just for the first game alone, we’ve have had more people than last year, because we got the word out this year, people know that we’re here.” Dinely states that the only requirement for any agency or business that wants to participate in future “Tackling Disability,” events to call her at (760) 482 -5068 or visit them on the web at http://www.ecrmcfoundation.org . “Anyone is welcomed to be a part of the challenge if they would like to,” smiled Dinely.