By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
December 18, 2012-During this yuletide season of giving, we in the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) especially acknowledge our leagues and clubs plus companies we work with that went beyond the proverbial extra mile to provide Hurricane Sandy relief.
SportsSignup in Saratoga Springs made a $10,000 donation to the ENYYSA leagues most affected by Hurricane Sandy. The Cosmopolitan Junior Soccer League (CJSL), Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL) and Staten Island Youth Soccer League (SIYSL) each received $3,333. "We are a national company but New York State is our home and even members of our own families have been affected by Hurricane Sandy," commented SportsSignup CEO Anthony Bruno. "We wanted to give to these organizations to help them get back on their feet."
The LIJSL held a food drive on November 10 and 11 at the Peter Collins Soccer Park in Plainview and the LIJSL office in Ronkonkoma. 4,134 lbs. of food, personal care items and home-cleaning supplies, as well as a van full of coats and blankets, were donated by Long Island soccer families.
Hauppauge Soccer Club coach Joe Grippo organized a fundraiser on November 18 that raised $15,000 in donations and over 9,000 lbs. in non-perishable items for the American Red Cross and Island Harvest. "He put the event together in six days," said Hauppauge Soccer Club President Pedro Contreras. "Although there were many others in our club who assisted, it was his tireless work that made the event so successful."
The Boys-Under-11 West Babylon Pride assisted with food handouts while the parents cooked some hot meals. The team also collected money to help two families on the team that lost household items and one family who lost the first floor of their home.
The Girls-Under-11 Manorville Starz adopted their division opponents, the Lindenhurst Lightning. "When they found out about the devastation in our community, their soccer families got together and put together donations for our community," Lindenhurst Coach Tina Sarnicola said of the Manorville team. "Kristin (Mahoney), their head coach, drove out with an SUV load of donations. She drove out again the next day with donations, and they have also helped arrange a truck from Virginia to come with more supplies."
The Deer Park Soccer Club held a collection drive on Sunday, November 9 at their intramural fields. The donations of food, clothing and household goods were incredible. Through a church in Deer Park, they were able to get the donations to the town of Lindenhurst to distribute to people in need. They also collected $533 which is being donated to the Red Cross.
The Bay Shore Soccer Club had a food and coat drive to benefit Hurricane Sandy victims and adopted several local families for Thanksgiving.
The East Islip Soccer Club, assisted by the neighboring West Islip Soccer Club, hosted nearly 70 intramural and travel teams on November 18 and 19 in their "Soccer Over Sandy" tournament. $28,000 was raised for Hurricane Sandy relief and East Islip also made a $2,500 donation to the EJ Autism Foundation.
The Auburndale Soccer Club in Queens collected money for a local family affected by the hurricane. The family has a child that plays for Auburndale, and once they heard that they lost their home and personal belongings, they started a collection at the club’s annual dinner dance. Over $1,100 was raised that night, which was matched by the club. Then a group of five coaches made additional donations to bring the total to $5,000. Auburndale was also able to set up a pick-up location through the club and shipped three truck-loads of clothes and food to Staten Island.
Breakaway, a training organization that works with SIYSL clubs, hosted a charity indoor soccer tournament, "Staten Island Soccer Over Sandy." The tourney was held at the Victory Sports Arena on Veteran’s Day and raised $5,000 for the Staten Island families most affected, including the Dresch family, which lost father George and 13-year-old daughter Angela. Clubs that participated were Notre Dame Academy, Richmondtown, St. John Newman, Silver Lake and Staten Island United.
SIYSL club Our Lady Help of Christians hosted 65 teams on December 8 in OLHC’s Playing for Angels tourney. This indoor/outdoor tournament was played at IS34, Angela Dresch’s school. $10,000 was raised for Dresch Family Funds and OLHC Hurricane Relief. Every player received a bracelet and tournament T-shirt in purple, which was Angela’s favorite color.
With 123,843 youth soccer players––68,587 boys and 55,256 girls––and more than 25,000 volunteers, the non-profit Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) stretches from Montauk Point, Long Island to the Canadian border. Members are affiliated with 12 leagues throughout the association, which covers the entire state of New York east of Route 81. ENYYSA exists to promote and enhance the game of soccer for children and teenagers between the ages of 5 and 19 years old, and to encourage the healthy development of youth players, coaches, referees and administrators. All levels of soccer are offered––from intramural, travel team and premier players as well as Special Children. No child who wants to play soccer is turned away. ENYYSA is a proud member of the United States Soccer Federation and United States Youth Soccer Association. For more information, please log on to http://www.enysoccer.com/, which receives nearly 300,000 hits annually from the growing soccer community.