continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr The initial $349 billion pool for emergency loans for small businesses derailed by the coronavirus pandemic has run dry as Republicans and Democrats squabble over how to replenish the relief program.The Treasury Department and Small Business Administration (SBA) have tapped the entirety of funding allotted for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which offers forgivable loans to small businesses intended to keep workers on payroll and small firms from going under.“The SBA is currently unable to accept new applications for the Paycheck Protection Program based on available appropriations funding. Similarly, we are unable to enroll new PPP lenders at this time,” the SBA said in a statement Thursday morning.The SBA also said that the $10 billion Congress appropriated for Economic Injury Disaster Loans had dried up. The program was meant to get fast cash to businesses, providing them with a $10,000 advance within just a few days of application for loans of up to $2 million.
Every year, there are six honorary coaches at the Courage Bowl. Those six are chosen to help their assigned team — either Rochester or St. John Fisher — prepare for its upcoming game against its crosstown rival.At the end of the game, each honorary coach receives a jersey signed by his or her team. It’s an innocuous gesture, but it means the world to the coaches — so much so that one coach asked to be buried in his jersey.It means so much because those six coaches are children. Children who have been diagnosed with cancer. They lose their hair. They have to undergo chemotherapy and radiation treatment. They aren’t sure how long they have to live.For those six boys and girls, the Courage Bowl, the game played between Rochester-area schools Rochester and St. John Fisher, isn’t about a win or a loss. The excitement lasts all week, from pregame meals to the bus rides to sitting in the locker room to heading to the 50-yard line for the coin toss.‘It’s an awesome experience for the honorary coaches and cheerleaders,’ said Gary Mervis, creator of the Courage Bowl and founder of Camp Good Days and Special Times, the organization that the honorary coaches attend. ‘It’s something they might never feel. It’s one day they can feel like they’re part of a college football team or cheerleading squad. It’s memories they can keep forever and memories for their families.’AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe tradition of the Courage Bowl continued this past Saturday, as the Cardinals and the Yellow Jackets hit the field in downtown Rochester. Again, there were six honorary coaches, six boys and girls who are just starting to realize there are kids just like them in the world.They’re starting to realize this through Camp Good Days and Special Times, a Rochester-area nonprofit dedicated to helping raise the spirits of children and families whose lives have been touched by cancer. All proceeds from Saturday’s game go toward the camp.Mervis began Camp Good Days when his daughter, Teddi, was diagnosed with cancer.‘Like most 9-year-olds, she was the only one in her world who was dealing with this thing called cancer,’ Mervis said. ‘She didn’t know anyone else who had cancer.’As a father, Mervis sought to protect his child. He wanted to give her the childhood that was stolen from her by the malignant tumor in her brain. He knew there wasn’t much he could do to stop the disease, but he also knew it wasn’t fair for any child ‘to come face-to-face with her own mortality.’Then he heard about a new program in Michigan, where doctors and nurses brought youth patients to an outdoor education center. The children were able to see their caretakers outside of the sterile environment of a hospital, spending time outdoors under their careful watch.He tracked down the doctor that created the program and brought him to Rochester. Within hours, Camp Good Days was born in 1979. It was the fourth program of its kind in the country. They had no volunteers, no money and no property.Flash forward more than thirty years, and now Camp Good Days has a camp on Keuka Lake. In addition to its headquarters in Mendon, the organization has offices in Syracuse, Buffalo, Ithaca and Bridgeport. More than 43,000 children have passed through its doors, from 22 different states and 27 different countries.Ten years after he started Camp Good Days, Mervis joined the staff of St. John Fisher as a part-time coach. Seven years ago, he came up with the Courage Bowl.On a drive back from the camp, he stopped at a red light and saw a woman in another car chastising her children for throwing a football. It was then that he realized how much football meant to American culture, and how much it might mean to kids who can’t do much organized activity at all.‘Probably every red-blooded American boy, and a lot of girls, were thinking about making that winning kick or touchdown,’ Mervis said. ‘Yet the kids I had just left at Camp Good Days couldn’t afford to dream about it. No doctor in his right mind would sign off on a child who’s been treated for cancer to play organized sports.’At the next meeting between coaches, he pitched an idea: Take the annual game against Rochester and rename it the Courage Bowl, after the slogan of Camp Good Days: ‘Where courage knows no boundaries.’It took no time to sell the idea to administrators. By September, the first Courage Bowl was held. It was standing room only — the largest crowd to see a game at St. John Fisher, Mervis said.Last year, it moved to Sahlen’s Stadium, home of the Rochester Rhinos soccer team. During the second game at Sahlen’s this past Saturday, 5,500 people attended and nearly $30,000 was raised, Mervis said. Rochester took a beating at the hands of St. John Fisher, 52-3.St. John Fisher head coach Paul Vosburgh is glad his team won, and he knows his players were, too. But he knew the Camp Good Days kids weren’t worried about the final score.The excitement of the game — win or lose — doesn’t only last for 60 minutes for those kids. Or the entire week leading up to the game. It lasts a lifetime — a lifetime that is too short.The little boy who loved his jersey so much has since passed away. He was buried in it.‘It didn’t make a difference to the Camp Good Days kids,’ Vosburgh said. ‘Our kids are glad we won. They fight hard to win it, and they want to fight hard for those young kids. … They wanted them to be able to hold up the championship trophy.’[email protected] Published on September 19, 2011 at 12:00 pm Comments Facebook Twitter Google+