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Help with a Mission boys team
I am contacting you on behalf of a group of at- risk teenagers who play on an under 16 boys soccer team.
You may remember the SF Chronicle story reported on July 2 of Tony Santillian murdered at the age of 19 in North Beach. As noted, he was a soccer star on the Chivas teams for many years. According to local coaches, he had a good chance to play professional soccer but that was lost when he was attacked and stabbed to death by four men who remain at large. The Mission Youth Soccer League quietly paid for Tony's burial and now is raising funds for his head stone.
The team, which is one of the highest achieving youth teams in San Francisco (won 2 State Cups and many other prestigious awards), has several players who are friends or relatives of Tony. Many of the team's players have backgrounds similar to Tony's, parents do not speak English or have no computer in their homes but soccer is their passion! In the Hispanic community, soccer unites people. On any given Saturday or Sunday the field in the Mission District of San Francisco will be filled with fans of all ages. Grandparents, parents, siblings, cousins and Aunts and Uncles along with folks from the neighborhood gather to watch who ever is playing. On some adult teams fathers, sons, uncles, and cousins play together.
The Chivas under-16 team has no sponsors, a volunteer coach and few resources but plays with heart and great skills. In an era when many players have parents who can afford to pay upwards of $500 a month for elite training, uniforms, and travel these boys excel on very little! Amongst their peer group they have received a good amount of notice and have a formidable reputation. The families of these future stars are very humble and lack the contacts, language skills, and sophistication to find funding for this group of boys.
The team is currently trying to raise funds (about $10,000) so they may travel to the national Super Y league tournament in Tampa FL. in November. This invitational tournament with only one team per region will give them exposure to many college and pro level coaches. They are the first team in the bay area to qualify for this tournament doing so before the season ended. This type of tournament will give them even more experience and competition and a chance to think of themselves going to the next level. In some cases it may be their way out of poverty and give them the chance to be the first in their family to go to college.
The team is working hard on small fundraisers, selling food at games, car washes, and raffles. One mom is collecting cans and bottles to recycle to have the money for her son's plane ticket. We have a pledge of $2500 from a private donor but we need more.
Don't let these boys slip through the cracks as Tony did, I hope you will consider this an investment in the future of our youth.
Juventus Sport Club is an officially recognized tax-exempt organization (a public charity) under IRC Section 501(c)(3). The Tax ID number is 30-0350117. For more information, please go to www.juventussportclub.org.
Manager, Juventus SF Chivas
Posted on 05 Sep 2007 by coachgianni