COATS FOR CHESTER PROGRAM COLLECTS RECORD NUMBER OF COATS
This past fall the Southeastern Pennsylvania Soccer Hall of Fame conducted its eighth “Coats for Chester” event. The purpose was to collect warm, winter coats from the soccer community and donate them to needy families in Chester, PA, home of our Major League Soccer team, Philadelphia Union. The program was not only hugely successful, but also very fulfilling as it showed that soccer people can make a difference off the field as well as on.
A grand total of 2,575 coats were collected and distributed to needy children and adults in Chester. The coats were given to these three social service agencies, who handled their distribution to the families:
Catholic Social Services of Delaware County
St. Katharine Drexel Food Cupboard
City Team Ministries Homeless Shelter.
Special thanks go to the following groups and their coordinators, for their efforts in collecting coats:
~Philadelphia Union, Bridget Welz, Nicolette Stoner
~Father Judge High School Soccer Program, Coach John Dunlop,
~Holy Family University men’s soccer team, Coach Georg Montag, Jr.
~Watertower Recreation Center, Brian McLaughlin, Supervisor
~Pennsauken High School, Tom Honeyman, Assistant Principal
~Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer, Chris Branscome, CEO
~Villa Capri Ristorante, Doylestown, Matt Mannino
~Dominic’s & The Side Door Pub, Dino Mannino
~Alisha and Tim Rodgers
~Glenmore Eagle Youth Association, Andrew Bellwoar
~YSC Sports King of Prussia, Richie Graham, Patti Wolf
~YSC Sports Horsham, Joan Feeney
~St. Thomas Aquinas Church Seton Seniors Club, Croyden, PA, Claire McDermott
~Council Rock United Soccer Association, Cynthia Laggan
~VE Soccer Club U-18 Boys Team, Coach Scott Rieber
~Bryn Athyn College Women, Coach Billy O’Neill
~Sons of Ben, Philadelphia Union Supporters Group
~Hatboro-Horsham High Scholl boys team, Coach Kyle McGrath
~Franklin Towne Charter High School girls team, Coach Brianna O’Donnell
~i2m Solutions Company, Steve Grzywinski
The program could not have succeeded without the help of Hall of Fame inductee and secretary Bob Ludwig. Through his work, Bob was able to commit the Reads Moving Systems Company and Atlas Van Lines to help us. These companies were invaluable as they picked up the coats from the various collection locations, stored the coats in their warehouse and then they provided the trucks to deliver all the coats to the distribution sites in Chester. Thanks again to Reads, Atlas and Bob Ludwig for their help.
Our “Coats for Chester” program started in 2010 and below is the yearly collection totals:
2010 – 670
2011 – 965
2012 – 1,450
2013 – 1.755
2014 – 2,115
2015 – 2,285
2016 – 2,130
2017 – 2,575
Eight Year Total – 13,960
As our motto states: “Honoring the Past, Building the Future,” the SEPA Soccer Hall of Fame is not only committed to promoting the ‘beautiful game,’ but it also strives to make a difference in our community. We will be doing our “Coats for Chester” program again in the fall of 2018. Please check back to our website (www.sepasoccerhall.com) in September for details. Also please follow and like us on facebook (www.facebook.com/sepasoccerhall).