Eighteen soccer teams filled the Kevin Kolm Memorial Field on Saturday for the eighth annual “Soccer For A Cause” soccer tournament to support the Michael Magro Foundation. The foundation is a non-profit organization that helps better the lives of children with cancer, pediatric cancer survivors and their families and other chronic pediatric illnesses. It was organized by the Mastermind Unit (MMU) and ran from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. State Assemblyman Michael Montesanto and Nassau County Legislator Rose Walker were in attendance as well as players from the New York Cosmos soccer team who were on hand to sign autographs and teach a few tricks to the crowd. The event raised more than $10,000 to benefit the foundation and its mission on behalf of children with cancer.
“We have teams entered from all over the tri-state area including collegiate teams,” said Michael Stamatinos, one of the co-founders of MMU. “This event seems to be getting bigger every year and it allows everyone to get together for a good cause.”
Other co-founding members of the MMU include David Musinski, Brian Horvath, Bryan Alcantara and Michael Longo. They are a group of local Hicksville boys who grew up playing soccer together and decided to found the non-profit group which helps coordinate local fundraising events such as the soccer tournament.
“We put this tournament together in 2008 and since then it has become a very popular event in the community,” said Stamatinos. “The way the tournament works is that every team entered plays three games and the top teams in each group go on to the quarterfinal round. From there the semifinals are played and then the finals which is always a crowd pleaser.”
The winner of this year’s final was Schaeffer Alemania, who defeated their opponent, the Barland Panthers, by winning the crossbar challenge, where the objective was to hit the crossbar instead of shooting goals. The Schaeffer Alemania team is a three time champion at the event.
“This soccer tournament is such a well run event and the dedication of this charity group is outstanding,” said Terrie Magro, president of the Michael Magro Foundation. “These guys are a dynamic group of guys who are all about charity work and I am blessed to have met and worked with them.”
She added that each team is also a testimonial to the charity, putting up $500 of their own money to participate in the event.
Peak Performance Physical Therapy helped sponsor the event as well as Mission Nutrition and DJ Dean helped keep the atmosphere live with his musical beats.