By Brandon HENSLEY
To help with enrollment costs for the upcoming season, American Youth Soccer Organization Region 88 held a fundraiser on Saturday, June 14 in the parking lot of Leo’s All-Star Bar & Grill.
Region 88 Commissioner Aldo Mascheroni said this was the first fundraiser held at Leo’s in order to help enrollment.
“That’s usually around 80 to 100 kids [annually] that can’t pay,” he said.
It costs $100 for parents to register their kids. That includes players receiving uniforms, pictures and a trophy. AYSO Region 88, which includes the Glendale and La Crescenta areas, has over 300 teams with 3,700 participants. The ages range from under 5 to under 18.
Region 88 holds other fundraisers throughout the year, including selling tickets to L.A. Galaxy games, but this was the first one held at Leo’s.
“It’s just an opportunity to raise some funds, and have a little bit of fun,” Mascheroni said. “We know the kids are out of school … so we thought it’d be a great opportunity for people to come out.”
Mascheroni said there were more activities planned, but the parking lot is on a slope, and organizers feared soccer balls would roll down and into the street. There seemed to be enough events, though, including soccer-related auction items, a DJ, popcorn, sno cones, and a booth where kids could get their faces and nails painted.
“Anytime we can do something that would be positive for the kids, we take advantage of it,” said Mascheroni, who noted the fundraiser was consciously held in conjunction with the start of the World Cup.
“We wanted to make it a kick-off thing for the World Cup because it kicked off this weekend … whatever it takes to get people interested and coming out and supporting the program,” he said.
AYSO is currently taking registration. Practice begins in August and the season starts in September. For more information, visit ayso88.org.