The Steubenville Kiwanis Club got an update on the Jefferson Kiwanis Youth Soccer Club at its Jan. 8 noon luncheon meeting held at the YWCA in Steubenville.
Larry Coleman, January program chair, officially welcomed its president, Dave Ferroni, and its executive director, Aldo Crisante, to the meeting where Cas Adulewciz, president, presided.
"Currently our club is in an outstanding state, and we've completed many projects over the last couple years," Ferroni said. "We've improved our lower fields, which was a project we started about five years ago. They're up and currently being in use constantly, so almost all 14 acres of the complex is now being used by the club."
From left, Larry Coleman, Steubenville Kiwanis Club January program chair, with Aldo Crisante, executive director of the Jefferson Kiwanis Youth Soccer Club; its president Dave Ferroni; and Cas Adulewicz, president of the Steubenville Kiwanis Club.
-- Janice R. Kiaski
The complex is near the Jefferson County Airpark.
There are more than 400 children from age 4 to 14 participating in the club, which includes more than 70 select players involved in competitive soccer. He said Chris McDaniel runs that program and "has done a fantastic job."
The recreational soccer program is "for kids who want to come and play," Ferroni said.
Of the many soccer clubs in Ohio, only four have a TOPS program for challenged children, which includes the Jefferson Kiwanis Youth Soccer Club. It has approximately 35 participants and is run by Monica Rogers. "One thing I'd like to tell you about Monica - it takes a special person to do what she does," said Ferroni, who noted she also does "a fantastic job."
TOPS is an acronym for The Outreach Program for Soccer.
Jefferson Kiwanis Youth Soccer Club's spring registration is under way and ends Jan. 31. The season begins in March. Anyone interested in registering can check out the website at www.jkysc.com to register before the deadline.
It costs $105 for a child to participate for a whole year, which consists of fall play from August to November and spring play from April to June. Players get a T-shirt, trophy, participate in 18 games, have two practices a week and a play day every week that's basically an instructional camp run by club representatives with the help of local high school coaches, according to Ferroni.
The cost to sponsor a team is $350 a year.
There have been some changes on the board and new elections with Crisante now handling fundraising and finances as the executive director, taking over for Dr. Himanshu Desai, now Kiwanis director. Brian DeLaratta has assumed the duties of secretary, and Angela Allen is registrar.
Overseen by the Ohio Youth Soccer Association North, the club had its director of soccer assess in the past that "we were very, very far behind the rest of the state and told us our kids are not progressing forward," Ferroni said. "We recently had him brought back and review our program again, and he told us we are now equal and starting to move past some of the other players in the state."
He said the third-annual Riverview Soccer Spectacular in September at the club complex drew about 20 different teams from outside the area. "Fortunately our teams were very successful. We finished first or second in all of our divisions, and that is of the select kids I am referring to," Ferroni said.
The select league participates in the Western Pennsylvania league. "They just told us we have one of the top three complexes in the league, so we are very proud of that," Ferroni said.
The club is operating on "a very thin budget," challenged by a loss of sponsorships over the years and law care expenses, he said.
Fundraisers coming up include the sale of potted flowers for Mother's Day.
"We also have an afterschool program of 35 kids at the MLK center that we sponsor where we do a little bit of soccer but mostly tutoring," Ferroni said.
Other guests at the meeting included Steubenville Key Club members Joe Walkosky and Dimitrios Collaros, both freshmen and atttending with Ross Ivkovich, and Lynette Pagley, introduced by Phyllis Riccadonna.
Riccadonna announced that the Kiwanis sign was ready for installing in the knoll area near Harding Middle School with club volunteers planning to do that last Saturday.
The club is continuing to recruit teams to participate in its third-annual trivia competition fundraiser to be held March 9 in the Steubenville High School Commons beginning at 7 p.m.
Teams will compete for cash prizes and bragging rights as participants test their knowledge and have fun in the process.
Anyone interested can organize a team of 10 or less to participate. The cost is $100 for a team no matter its size, whether it's two or three members or the maximum 10. There will be no concessions available this time around, but teams are at liberty to bring their own snacks.
The event also will include a 50-50 and a Chinese auction.
Anyone interested can contact Tom Timmons by phone at (740) 314-9574 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other January programs set up by Coleman include: Tuesday at noon, the club will hear from one of its own, Eric Timmons, the Kiwanis Lt. Gov. from Division 12; Jan. 22 will feature a representative of the Steubenville Visitors Center; and on Jan. 29, Mark Nelson will welcome club members to his business at Nelson Fine Art and Gifts in Steubenville located in what used to be Lincoln Elementary School on Sinclair Avenue. Club members will tour the facilities and have lunch there.