I would be remiss in not reaching out and commending the Messenger for the story on Rob Cioffi and his almost 40 years of coaching the Steelers youth football team. The story was a like a whos who of St. Albans and its storied history with youth football. It was truly interesting to go through each of the names mentioned and then to recognize that most of them are still around, still contributing to their community. I think that says an enormous amount about Rob Cioffi and all the people he has worked with over the years. It was never about money, it was never about ego, it was about doing something that was good for our youth. And these are kids who have never forgotten these coaches and the lessons those coaches passed on. That is what makes a community worth living in.

In this day and age we don’t push through what’s before us to understand the sort of effort others put in to volunteer jobs like this. We don’t think about these jobs and how much of a difference they make to the rest of us and to our children. Too often we just assume it happens and don’t ask.

For those who did not read the story I encourage you to do so. I encourage you to stop at each name and think about how each of those people gave back at so many different levels - way beyond the youth football program. And how they are still giving back.

It’s a culture that is worth perpetuating by encouraging others to follow in their footsteps.

So thanks to Messenger sports editor Ruthie Laroche for doing the work necessary to show the fine contributions all these people have provided. We would not have thought about it had she not made the effort.

B. Gagne

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