LANCASTER — Starting at 5 p.m. last Friday, the FC Stars Soccer Field complex was jam-packed. The music was going full-blast, kids were playing either bubble soccer, bubble darts or bubble pool.
Later that evening and well into Saturday morning, it was the adults who put on the soccer cleats, while the children either rode around the fields on scooters or went to bed in the many different campers which were onsite in the completely filled parking lot.
Hours later when the children awoke, more youth soccer games were played all the way through 5 p.m. Saturday.
It was a crazy 24-hour period at the McGovern Boulevard Fields located across the street from Kimball Farms. All in all about 600 children as well as hundreds of adults took part in the third annual ‘Soccerthon’, a fundraising event put on by the FC Stars Soccer Club and the Greg Hill Foundation.
“We are a non-profit youth soccer (program),” said Sarah Dewhurst, the Chief Administrating Officer of the FC Stars Organization. “We do this 24-hour event to raise money and we split it with a charity partner every year and this year we did it with the Greg Hill Foundation.
“We will split the money that comes in and it all goes to financial aid. The Greg Hill Foundation does so much for so many families in need across Massachusetts so this money is going to local families who have been touched by tragedy.”
The first two years of the Soccerthon the FC Stars joined up with Access Sport America and raised roughly a combined $70,000. Last year was a little shy of $40,000.
This year, the Stars joined with the Hill Foundation with the proceeds going to local families in need. The goal for this year’s event was to raise atleast $40,000.
“We have one girl, her name is Logan Smith, and she is 9 years old from North Andover, and she raised $5,500,” said Dewhurst. “We give pledge sheets out and she had 13 pages filled out. Her mother said that she did it all on her own. I was just blown away by that.”
Dewhurst added that although there were many tired set of eyes, staying awake for all 24 hours made it all worthwhile just by seeing how much joy the hundreds of children and their families were having at this special once-a-year-event.
“It’s good for the kids to see this and be a part of it,” said Dewhurst. “We are located in all different regions of Massachusetts and New Hampshire and it brings all of these different kids who don’t know each other together. It’s a bonding thing, a raising (money) thing and the kids were having so much fun and to me that’s the biggest thing.”