What follows is a wonderful excerpt from the Fire FC December Newsletter. In it, Shaun Howe (pictured, center) thanks JSL for the grant they gave to the soccer organization:
Fire FC Thanks Junior Service League
Last week, I had the honor of attending a financial award ceremony put on by the Junior Service League in Grand Junction. Fire FC was able to secure a $1,500 grant from JSL that will go directly to our scholarship fund to help players financially for the spring season. This will allow us to help approximately 20-30 more families’ play soccer in the spring. I wanted to take a minute and thank the Junior Service League for their opportunity to attain this grant.
Along these lines, I wanted to share a bit of what I learned last night at this ceremony. Many might already know about this group, but it was all new to me. JSL basically goes out and raises money through a big party (Viva El Vino) they throw every year, two popular cookbooks and by reaching out to local businesses/and individuals in the community who want to help. They then take this money and award all of it to non-profits in our community. There was more than $30,000 awarded to local non-profits by JSL last night. It was a real honor for Fire FC to be in the company of some amazing organizations doing great work for kids and families in Mesa County.
Prior to getting up and speaking about Fire FC, I have to say I was a bit humbled by the fact that many of the non-profits who received money basically help people with needs that allow people to survive. While I am passionate about soccer, it is definitely a luxury compared to food, medical needs or shelter. With that in mind, I am glad Fire FC is able to help families off -set some costs so their kids can play soccer.
Throughout the years, I have seen this sport help so many kids reach their vast potential. Soccer, and sports in general, is a great way for kids to: improve self-esteem, make new friends, participate in a healthy activity after school, etc. One area I thought of more when driving home is the concept of teamwork. There were many organizations at the JSL Ceremony that talked about stewardship and teaching kids the importance of making a difference in their community, etc. Soccer is a great place to lay the foundation of giving back to others by teaching that the “team” is bigger than the individual. I believe that any high functioning team at any level masters this concept of the team being more important than individual pursuits.
Hopefully kids can take this ideal from playing youth soccer and someday apply to help their communities. There were many at the JSL Awards Ceremony who inspired me to do more, and I appreciate all they do for our community in the Valley. They definitely personify the concept of teamwork and do an amazing job for so many people in Mesa County.