November 17, 2009 – New Canaan, Connecticut – Beachside Soccer Club raised over $15,000 for the internationally renowned organization, Grassroot Soccer, Inc. Six Beachside soccer teams and their families participated in the fundraising over a three-week period.
Mrs. Jennifer Mines, of Ridgefield, and Beachside U12 Blue coach, John Chiavaroli, of Darien, organized the event. “I am so grateful that Beachside agreed to support Grassroot Soccer,” said Chiavaroli. “I worked as a field intern for them last year in South Africa and Namibia, so it is an organization that is close to my heart. With the World Cup in South Africa next year, it seemed like a good fit for so many reasons.”
Close to one hundred Beachside players (representing 15 Fairfield County towns) participated in numerous soccer activities throughout the evening, which included 4v4 small-sided games and dribbling relays, as well as juggling, shooting power, and shooting accuracy competitions. The winners of each competition received a Grassroot Soccer tee shirt. The most meaningful activity of the evening was the 100-mile dribble at the beginning of the event. Ethan Zohn, winner of the CBS hit television series: Survivor, and co-founder of Grassroot Soccer, dribbled a soccer ball from Boston to Washington DC last year in order to raise money and awareness for HIV/AIDS prevention.
The U12 Boys White team raised the most amount of money ($3,835.00), while the U12 Boys Blue team came in a close second ($3,528.81). Stathi Panagiotidis, of Norwalk, was the top fundraiser at $2,110.00. Because of the collective, club-wide effort, over 550 African youth will be able to participate in Grassroot Soccer HIV/AIDS prevention curriculum.
Beachside Soccer Club has consistently given back to our local community and to organizations from around the world that are dedicated to serving humanity. “A big part of our program is having our players understand the importance of giving back and helping,” said Mickey Kydes, Beachside SC founder and coaching director. “Participating in the Grassroot Soccer fundraiser has positively impacted our players in many ways.” You can learn more about the “Beachside Family” at: www.beachsidesoccer.org.
Founded by former professional soccer players in 2002, Grassroot Soccer (GRS) trains African soccer stars, coaches, teachers, and peer educators in the world’s most HIV-affected countries to deliver an interactive HIV prevention and life skills curriculum to youth. Translating research into action and leveraging the excitement around the 2010 World Cup, GRS attracts and engages young people through schools, community outreach, and social multimedia (e.g. magazines and TV). GRS has educated more than 300,000 kids via its ‘Skillz’ curriculum, and is a leader in the sport for development movement.” Learn more about Grassroot Soccer, Inc. by visiting their website at: www.grassrootsoccer.org.