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Pittsburgh Soccer in the Community

Posted by espo On 11:52 AM

Through soccer I've been fortunate to have met some solid individuals over the past few years. One common thing binds everyone together; our passion for the beautiful game. Not many have shown as much passion as James Meara, co-president of Pittsburgh Soccer in the Community (www.pittsburghsoccer.org/). James and his partner, Mark Taylor, have partnered with several local organizations to bring soccer to over 500 kids who otherwise wouldn't have had the chance to discover the game. Summer and winter camps take kids from neighborhoods such as East Liberty, Homestead and Hazelwood and give them the opportunity to learn and play soccer in a safe and caring environment. However, it doesn't end there. James and Mark then bring in some of Pittsburgh's finest to talk to the kids about life, responsibility and respect. These "lifestyle" sessions are just as important as giving the kids a chance to experience the beautiful game. The program is sponsored and supported by the Mayor's Office, Project Weed and Seed, PNC Bank, UPMC and many other charitable donations. Last summer, the Bayer Foundation teamed up with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds to bring some of James' kids out to a game (www.riverhounds.com/home/361028.html). This past Saturday evening I talked my wife into attending the 5th Annual Fundraiser with me, hosted by the James Gallery located in Pittsburgh's West End. It was a great event with all proceeds going to fund next year's programs and camps. Hearing some of the kid's stories from James and Mark was the highlight of the evening and I was glad to have been able to contribute to such a wonderful cause on behalf of the Steel Army.

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