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LIJSL Aiding Breast Cancer Research Foundation, LI Cares

Local teams help fundraise for two worthy causes

With over 1,500 travel teams in Suffolk, Nassau and Queens, the Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL) is the largest league in the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA). The LIJSL recently gave back to the local community by hosting fundraisers at the Peter Collins Soccer Park in Plainview for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and Long Island Cares.

On Sunday, Aug. 19, a dozen teams of Estée Lauder employees and executives, and local Under-14 and Under-15 girls teams from the Long Island Junior Soccer League, took part in a series of friendlies to support the fight against breast cancer.

“The focus today is on fun and on creating breast cancer awareness,” said Carlos Ospina, an Estée employee and organizer of the event. “The assistance we get from the LIJSL, the park staff who do a great job for us, and the referees who volunteer their time, is just extraordinary.”

The Lynbrook/East Rockaway Stingrays, Carlos coaches, along with the East Meadow Stingrays and other LIJSL teams from Hicksville, Sound Beach, Brentwood and Carle Place, among others, were in attendance. There was a game that pitted VP’s and executives from Estée Lauder against a team of assemblers. Another squad was made up of employees of the company’s plant in Pennsylvania, who rented a bus and left at 5 a.m. to be on Long Island for the event.

“At the end of the day, we had a lot of fun and accomplished our goal of raising money and awareness for breast cancer research,” Carlos added. “As employees of Estée Lauder Companies, we are very committed to Mrs. Evelyn Lauder’s vision to find a cure for breast cancer. It was great to see the parents, coaches and players embrace that as well. We have formed a great relationship with the LIJSL, the Soccer Park staff and the referees, and we hope to do even more together in the future.”

This is the eighth year that the friendly games have taken place at the Peter Collins Soccer Park, which is donated by the LIJSL for the event. It is the first year that youth teams have taken part, and there are future plans being discussed for a women’s division and a clinic for younger players. The $1,700 raised on August 19 adds to the more than $8.5 million that the Estée Lauder Company has raised for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and fundraising efforts will continue right through October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Statistics have shown that one out of nine Long Island women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime.

LIJSL players, coaches and families also contributed to the Peter Collins Soccer Park Food Drive during the spring season and the league was able to donate 811 pounds of food to Long Island Cares.

“On behalf of all of the children and families served by Long Island Cares, Elana Sissons, food drive coordinator, and I are truly grateful to the LIJSL for your support,” said Paule Pachter, executive director of Long Island Cares. “This donation will go a long way towards ensuring that more Long Island children and families do not go hungry.

Founded in 1980 by the late singer and songwriter Harry Chapin, Long Island Cares provides nutritional food and support services for a network of more than 540 community-based member agencies including food pantries, soup kitchens, emergency shelters, child care programs, disability organizations, veterans services and more. Long Island Cares also seeks to heighten public awareness about hunger and provides skills training to foster self-sufficiency among the population.

With 123,843 youth soccer players––68,587 boys and 55,256 girls––and more than 25,000 volunteers, the nonprofit Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association stretches from Montauk Point, Long Island to the Canadian border. Members are affiliated with 12 leagues throughout the association, which covers the entire state of New York east of Route 81. ENYYSA exists to promote and enhance the game of soccer for children and teenagers between the ages of 5 and 19 years old, and to encourage the healthy development of youth players, coaches, referees and administrators. All levels of soccer are offered––from intramural, travel team and premier players as well as Special Children. No child who wants to play soccer is turned away. ENYYSA is a proud member of the United States Soccer Federation and United States Youth Soccer Association. For more information, please log on to http://www.enysoccer.com/, which receives nearly 300,000 hits annually from the growing soccer community.