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updated: 11/18/2011 12:19 PM

Arlington Cowboys honor coach with scholarships

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The Arlington Cowboys, a youth football organization, holds its first parents banquet Nov. 19.

But the group will witness a more important first. Supporters are announcing a foundation in the name of Michael J. deZonna, a dad and Cowboys coach who died last October at just 58 years old.

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The foundation will give two kinds of scholarships: one for young people to help meet their youth football costs and a second to older students for college expenses.

"Mike loved youth football and was a proponent of academic excellence as

well," said Joe Preissing, commissioner of Arlington Cowboys youth football. "Mike coached in the Arlington Cowboys organization with great pride and passion. He grew up in Arlington Heights, where he was a star football player at the great Arlington High School. Then he raised his family here."

DeZonna is survived by his wife, Debbie, and children, Peyton and Ellie.

Michael Reed, owner of Reed Rigging, where deZonna was chief executive officer, is donating $10,000 as a matching challenge. The foundation will have an annual fundraising event, said Preissing.

Donations can be sent to the Michael J. deZonna Foundation at the Village Bank & Trust, 311 S. Arlington Heights Road, Arlington Heights, IL 60005.

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