Mary Putansu was moving and needed help.

The long-time Belfast resident, who is handicapped, was relocating from an apartment where she has lived for the past 16 years that no longer met her needs.

Her friend of 35 years and navigator, Tenley Mossing, said they had been planning the event for some time but realized the day before that they had no real "muscle" to assist in the move.

Mossing turned to Jodie Stout, administrator for the General Assistance program at Belfast City Hall, who suggested "a great idea." Stout told Mossing her son plays football for the Belfast Lions and she thought the team could lend a hand.

Mossing went with Putansu to the team practice at the high school that afternoon and asked for "a couple of strong players" to help in the move.

According to Mossing, Lions Coach Greg Bouchard asked, without hesitation, "What time do you want them to show up?"

The next morning, 15 players and coaches reported to Putansu's apartment. With less than 18 hours' notice, Tenley said, the group moved 16 years' worth of belongings in 27 minutes.

Mossing said, "All the players sprang into action. They were unbelievable."

Bouchard noted that for the football players, "It wasn't community service — it was a lesson.

"Our theme is to be a good team player," he said, "and the Belfast community is our teammate. It was a great learning opportunity."

Putansu personally thanked everyone who helped her move.

Belfast Lions players who assisted were Donovan Armstrong, Dylan Abbott, Jack Hansen, Matthew Banfi, Lucas Walker, Matt LeBlanc, Asa Hayes, Colby Benjamin, Zack Riley, Andrew Akles, Tanner Veillew, Chris Kelley and Josiah Schwartz.

Mossing said Stout and the General Assistance program were also instrumental in the move, paying security and pet deposits as well as August rent.

"Belfast stepped in and assisted us," Mossing said, later adding, "We are so appreciative of Jodie Stout. She was so eager to help and offered so many resources to help Mary."

Mossing said they are also grateful to Amy Leeman and Lucy Lavine of the First Baptist Church, where Putansu is a parishioner, who have offered to buy Mary a brand new recliner for the new apartment.

In addition, three agencies and numerous individuals helped with the move in a variety of ways, Mossing said.

Brandy Grant at Living Innovations sent four staff members to help (Haley Austin, Trevor Larrabee, Amber Merrill and Kimberly Grant); Sharon Reed-Hall of Volunteers of America is the housing manager at her new apartment building; and Sue Jackson, Putansu's case worker at Opportunity Enterprises.

Lions Assistant Coach Roland Littlefield and Don Bouchard, the coach's father, also helped with the move.

Caregiver Brenda Morin did "a wonderful job" packing all of Putansu's belongings into boxes so everything was ready on moving day, Mossing said, and caregiver Shellie Haskell helped pack as well.