Stop & Shop sponsors fall season of South Mountain soccer to benefit local athletes

Photo Courtesy of Kate Schmidt With the players from the South Mountain U12 Mustangs and Ironmen are, from left, Mustangs coach Dan Cohen, South Orange Stop & Shop manager Joseph Heiser, village President Sheena Collum, South Orange recreation director Kate Schmidt, Soccerhood co-founder Elizabeth Sarkisian and village Trustee Stephen Schnall.
Photo Courtesy of Kate Schmidt
With the players from the South Mountain U12 Mustangs and Ironmen are, from left, Mustangs coach Dan Cohen, South Orange Stop & Shop manager Joseph Heiser, village President Sheena Collum, South Orange recreation director Kate Schmidt, Soccerhood co-founder Elizabeth Sarkisian and village Trustee Stephen Schnall.

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — The South Orange Department of Recreation & Cultural Affairs will receive a donation of $1,500 from the Stop & Shop of South Orange, making Stop & Shop the exclusive and first ever sponsor of South Mountain soccer for the fall 2016 season. This sponsorship will provide full financial aid for many participating soccer players this season. In addition to the sponsorship, Stop & Shop will donate healthy drinks and snacks to be sold by parent volunteers at home games. The money raised through these sales will go toward purchasing equipment, such as cleats and shin guards, for players needing assistance with such items, according to a recent release from the rec department.

The South Orange Village Fund for Recreation & Cultural Affairs provides financial aid to South Orange and Maplewood children in need of assistance in order to participate in recreational programs. The Stop & Shop donation will be directed specifically toward those enrolled in the South Mountain soccer program this fall. This collaborative effort is the result of hard work on the part of Soccerhood, a local volunteer organization assisting children from immigrant families in the South Orange-Maplewood School District’s English Language Learning programs. Many of these children need assistance with the logistical and financial aspects of participating in the local recreational programs. Soccerhood’s aim is to help integrate these children and their families into the community through the shared love of soccer.

The South Mountain soccer program is open to boys and girls from Maplewood and South Orange from the ages of 8 through 16. It is a fun yet competitive league in which many children play. This season the program had enough players interested to add a boys’ U17 team, allowing older teens to continue playing recreational soccer.

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