At CJSA’s Presidents’ dinner on January 30, Carole Allers and Jill Robey accepted CJSA’s annual Sportsmanship Award on behalf of the club. Back in November these u13 Boys parents organized a “run for Lucas” event to raise funds to help an ailing player on FC Westchester’s u13 team – an arch rival.
The idea was born at FC Westchester’s Columbus Day soccer tournament, where efforts to raise money for Lucas Goldbaum, a Sleepy Hollow resident and FC goalie, were already under way.
Lucas was diagnosed with pediatric brain-stem cancer in July, and at the Columbus Day tournament, members of Lucas’ team played ”3-vs.-3” games and sold t-shirts to raise money and awareness.
Carole Allers, whose son plays for the Beachside under-13 team, saw the ”Play for Lucas” shirts and immediately decided to help.
“When I came home from that tournament, I said, ‘We need to do something,’ ” Allers said. “It could be my son.”
Allers went to team manager Jill Robey, and together they hatched the idea for ”Run for Lucas.”
So on Thursday November 13, members of six different Beachside teams – girls and boys under-12, -13, and -14 – along with some members of FC, coaches, family and friends, ran laps around the field to support and help raise money for Lucas.
Robey said that runners could donate either a lump sum or pledge a specific amount based on the distance they ran.
“I figure there are about 125 kids out there,” Robey said. “It is really heartwarming. The best part of this is, just showing support for another player. This could happen to any of us.”
Goldbaum, a goalie on last year’s team, watched the event with his mother, Kathleen O’ Connell, and the two yelled encouragement as friends and strangers alike ran past.
“This brings back a lot of memories,” he said.
“I just want to get back to soccer as soon as I can. Seeing all these people run for me is really amazing.”
Many of the Beachside players didn’t know Lucas Goldbaum at all, but that didn’t matter. The children were running for love and hope, for a boy they knew needed their help and who loves soccer, just like them.
“I’m really for this cause,” said Madison Hruschka, a girls under-13 Beachside player. “Everybody here is a great person. This just shows that there is good in people.”
Kathleen held a video camera in her hand during most of the night, wore a bright smile and cheered constantly. It wasn’t difficult to see how much the night touched her.
“It’s extraordinary,” she said. “We are so blessed to have so much love and support. Lucas was so excited to come out here. He was so grateful.”
When the run was over, Lucas was presented with a signed jersey, ball and poster board.
“We are trying to raise money, but more importantly, we want to show that we’re all in this together, just from a human perspective,” Beachside founder and president Mickey Kydes said. “I might be biased, but I think soccer brings people together more than any other sport, because it is so worldwide.”
On Thursday, in a small town in Connecticut, soccer brought two rival teams together. The result was a win for everybody.