CHARDON, Ohio -- A raffle that was supposed to raise money for a youth football league is generating more controversy than cash.
Players in the Riverside Youth Football League in Painesville and their families have been selling raffle tickets for the fundraiser, where one of the prizes is a VZ 2000 tactical rifle, produced by Ohio Ordnance Works in Chardon. The company has also been a sponsor of the league, made up of players between the ages of 7 and 11.
"A weapon associated with sports, you know for small children, doesn't make any sense," said local resident Kara Price.
Ironically, some of the league games are played at Chardon High School, scene of last February's shooting spree that left three students dead.
"It goes hand in hand with all the shootings, I mean if you're encouraging it at that level, I mean it's nothing but disaster could happen in the future, I think," said local resident Jeff Staats.
Fox 8 contacted Al Adams, whose name is listed on the rifle raffle as the contact at Ohio Ordnance Works. Initially he said quote 'What's the big problem?’. Then when we told him that some people thought the raffle was inappropriate for a youth football league, Adams said 'I have no comment'."
Ohio Ordnance Works had been listed on the Riverside League’s website as a sponsor but now the company is no longer listed, and some say the league needs to change their raffle prize as well.
"Tickets to a Browns game, any sporting event”, said Kevin Sweeney. “I mean anything other than a gun."
League officials did not return calls from Fox 8.