Gabe Whaley, president of the North Carolina-based nonprofit group Kicking4Hunger, is stepping from center field to the sidelines.Kicking4Hunger, which began in 2006, organizes free soccer clinics in exchange for canned goods that are donated to local soup kitchens. As the organization expands by sponsoring events throughout the country and world, Whaley is hoping participants will take greater control of the organization by hosting their own events. The South Iredell Soccer Association is holding its second Kicking4Hunger event June 29, taking part in the organization’s transition to more local leadership. The clinic teaches soccer skills to kids and also encourages giving back to the community.The association’s second clinic is a tribute to the success of the organization, Whaley said, and it shows that Kicking4hunger can be led by people in local areas, no longer solely by his team.“It says a lot about the community,” he said. “The fact that this organization is going to take it upon themselves and make it happen again is just incredible. That speaks strongly to our concept and our mission.”Scott Morrison, Mooresville resident and director of communications for the association, said last year’s event, which was held in December, brought in more than 1,000 cans of food for the Mooresville Soup Kitchen. Food Lion has agreed to match every can of food donated. Morrison hopes the clinic will be as successful this year and will continue in the future. “We want to give back to the community, and the method in which we’re giving back is through soccer,” he said. “Feeding the hungry, teaching kids they can have a positive impact on the community and having fun with soccer is a cool combination of the things we do.”Vickie Traynum, executive director of the Mooresville Soup Kitchen, said donations from charity events like Kicking4Hunger are what keep the soup kitchen in business. “We are blessed out of God’s abundance here,” she said. “We always need more, but it seems like when we’re in need it comes through the door.” Crampton: 704-358-5112 Twitter: liz_crampton
Monday, Jun. 17, 2013
Soccer clinic will raise food for soup kitchen
Want to go? Kicking4Hunger will be 9 a.m.-noon June 29 at Mazeppa Park in Mooresville. The clinic is for kids ages 6-17 and will be run by the South Iredell Soccer Association’s recreational challenge-level coaches. Participants are asked to bring canned food to attend. To register, sign up at kicking4hunger.org.
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