While tickets for the fundraiser are already sold out

Raising funds to help kids play soccer and stay safe in Guatemala

## ## The desire to help kids play soccer and stay safe in an impoverished area of Guatemala has led to the second annual Songs for Soccer fundraiser.

The event, which is presented by the Pembroke Soccer Club, takes place April 5 at the Pub House by Milano. All of the proceeds raised go directly to Futbol KY, which translates into street soccer because they usually play in the streets and the odd time on a field if one is available. While tickets for the fundraiser are already sold out, those interested in supporting the cause are still able to purchase raffle tickets on three alcohol baskets, provide monetary donations towards the purchase of soccer shoes in Guatemala or donate items for the silent auction.

Last year event raised $7,500 and with an annual budget of about $10,000 to run the program for the year, the hope is to increase the proceeds this time around.

Leanne Summers, co organizer of the Songs for Soccer fundraiser April 5, is seen here with Giovanni Alvarez, program co ordinator of the Futbol KY program in Guatemala, which will benefit from the proceeds of the event.

Leanne Summers, the secretary on the board of Planting Seeds International, an organization focused on improving education in Guatemala, has been to Guatemala a number of times to help build houses. During the visit in November 2017 she learned about the Futbol KY program and that the NGO that had been providing funding was stepping away. After speaking with program co ordinator Giovanni Alvarez and learning of the progress being made by the children in the program, who were focused on soccer instead instead of getting into trouble, she felt compelled to do something. That is when she got in touch with Donna Saal, president of the Pembroke Soccer Club at the time, now vice president. The club donated old jerseys and balls to the program and when Summers was able to deliver the items, the smiles on the faces of the children said it all. Saal was also thrilled when she saw pictures of the children sporting the new to them jerseys, many of them way too big for the kids, with the Pembroke Soccer Club crest.

Because the majority of the children live right outside the largest landfill in Latin America, they do not have a lot of prospects, so the soccer gives them something to look forward to. Someone has recently volunteered to teach the kids English, which will be a huge advantage for them going forward, Summers noted.

The Songs for Soccer event promises to be a rockin event thanks to the music of Sierra Levesque, Wabash, Tim Summers and the Bluenotes, H and The Attractions and Josh Greeley.

Raffle tickets for the baskets cost just $5 for one of three for $10, which can make the world of difference to these children, according to Summers and she also noted receipts can be provided for monetary donations. For more information, tickets or to donated to the silent action, contact Tim and Leanne Summers at 613 638 2928. Tickets for the baskets can also be purchased at Physio in the Valley.

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