FENTON, Michigan -- The MSA Alliance scored big at bringing soccer communities together earlier this year. Now, it’s driving toward a new goal: helping feed hungry children in the region.
Participating clubs, including AYSO 417 (Tri-County Soccer Club), AYSO 823 (Holly/Davisburg), AYSO 169 (Grand Blanc Soccer Club), AYSO 766 (Carman Ainsworth) as well as the travel teams of Bolton Michigan and Bolton Lapeer and Little Kritters Soccer indoor and outdoor programs, are hosting Cereal Saturday.
Soccer players, their families, fans and the community can bring new, unopened boxes of cereal to the soccer fields of the participating clubs on Saturday, October 13 to donate to the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan’s BackPack Program. Can’t make it to one of the soccer fields on that date? No problem. There will also be a drop box at MSA headquarters, in the Lake Winds Plaza, 1537 N. Leroy, Suite B, Fenton, the entire week leading up to the event.
The BackPack Program works to reduce child hunger by providing students who are at risk of hunger with a weekend backpack of nutritious, kid-friendly foods. Last year, it helped more than 3,300 students from 68 schools in 10 counties. Backpacks hold two breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack items. Without
the program, thousands of children -- and some of their family members -- would
have no food to eat over the weekend.
“We’re setting a goal of collecting 3,500 boxes of cereal during our one-day drive,” said Tony Shard, president of Midwest Soccer Academy and organizer of the MSA Alliance. “I truly believe our soccer families will come through for us, the Food Bank and the children.”
Shard said he was inspired to create the event by his wife, Margie, who last year
organized a first-time, sold-out fundraiser for the BackPack Program in Grand
Blanc. The Shard Financial Women, Wine, Fashion & Finance event raised more
than $19,000 for the food bank program. Plans already are in the works for a bigger and better fundraiser on March 7, 2013.
“My company works with kids on a daily basis, and I’m a dad, so the thought of
schoolchildren out there going hungry on the weekends, saddens me,” Shard said.
“We’re here to give something back, too. And I think it’s really important to instill some of that generosity in our players. That way, everybody wins.”
Drop-off locations include:
Tri-County Soccer Club (AYSO 417), Deer Run Soccer Complex, 16021 Linden Rd., Linden, MI 48451. The fields are just north of Owen Road.
Grand Blanc AYSO 169 Fields are at the Rick Harkter Soccer, 5202 East Maple Avenue between Genesee and Belsay Road.
Holly/Davisburg AYSO 823 plays on fields adjacent to Sherman Middle School, 14470 Holly Road, Holly 48442 (about ¼ mile north of Grange Hall Road.
Carman Ainsworth AYSO 766 fields are on Linden Road, north of the west side of Linden Road behind office buildings.
MSA headquarters, in the Lake Winds Plaza, 1537 N. Leroy, Suite B, Fenton 48430. (Open during business hours Monday through Friday.)
For more information on Cereal Saturday, contact the MSA office at (810) 714-5575, visit www.midwestsoccer.net or follow Midwest Soccer Academy on Facebook.