Armed with hoses, brushes, squeegees and towels, a small army of volunteers joined with Dr. Jerry Antonino to raise money for the Our Lady of Grace Soccer program on Sunday.
The program this year celebrates its twentieth year as part of CYO Soccer and since its inception in 1993 has become a cherished institution in the Howard Beach community.
Despite the threat of overcast skies throughout the morning, cars continued to roll through the team of bumper scrubbers, wheel washers and squeegee men until around 3 p.m. when the tired crew called it a day.
“Again we’ve seen the community come out and support these kids as they do every year,” said Antonino, himself one of the chief scrubbers assembled in the school’s parking lot.
The organization has seen several thousand kids come and go with alumni who return each year for the car wash, dinner dance and other annual events that support the program.
This year 1st Annual OLG/CYO Indoor Soccer Tournament @ Aviator Sports (Winter) getting 13 CYO parishes and a total of 43 teams to enroll.
The program began back in 1993 was originally established by Antonino with the hopes of bringing children and their families into a closer relationship with Jesus Christ.
The program has remained a strong witness to good Catholic values and superb sportsmanship to the league. “Our children learn how to play soccer from coaches whose concern is for developing the player and not just winning games,” said Antonino. “We believe that soccer can be a great tool to teach essential life skills.”
By Patricia Adams