The forecast was calling for rain this past Saturday but, as faith would have it, that never happened. In fact, the sun shined down on our incredible fund raising event, the Ryan Miller Heart Foundation soccer-a-thon, and we achieved everything we had hoped ... and so much more.
As the day progressed, I tried to personally thank each and every one of the coaches, players, and parents. For those of you I may have missed, thank you! We couldn’t have had a successful event without your support, and we appreciate your commitment to our goal: to play a series of games, purely for the love of the game, to honor 16-year-old Ryan Miller of Monroe, a tremendous soccer player in his own right whose recent health issues have been well documented.
Thanks to all of you on behalf of the Miller family, The Ryan Miller Foundation and from all the organizers of the event. Some special thanks to the parents and players of Ryan’s team, the U16 EB Extreme, who were the people under the tents and in the snack bar, as well as the 20 Referees who worked to make the soccer-a-thon an incredible success.
In all, we had 42 teams participate -- way beyond our wildest dreams -- from several different soccer organizations, including Monroe Soccer Club, Jersey Knights, Manalapan Soccer Club, Central Jersey Silver Bullets, Maestro Soccer Club, Piscataway Soccer Club and the Cranbury Soccer Club. Both Monroe and East Brunswick High School teachers and varsity players also participated. Most noticeable was the support from the sponsor of our event, the East Brunswick Soccer Club, which not only made its fields, facilities and web site available to us but fielded 23 teams for the event. I’ve never been more proud to be an EBSC coach.
And I must thank the many soccer organizations (Red Bulls and the NJ Ironmen) and businesses (Soccer Stadium, Cheeburger Cheeburger, The Brunswick Grove, Dunkin Donuts, Five Boro Flags, Galleria Portraits) that provided financial support or products and services for the event.
As a result, the Ryan Miller Foundation got a tremendous jump start on Saturday, raising over $20,000 and raising awareness of the importance of organ donation.
This was a community activity at its very best -- people from all over volunteering to help and to support this great cause.
I cannot thank all of you enough.
Ed Simoes, EB Extreme
Organizer, Ryan Miller Heart Foundation Soccer-a-Thon
P.S. Galleria Portraits has pictures available with ALL proceeds going to the Ryan Miller Foundation at http://www.pictage.com/control/CONTROL/event_page.xml?producer=control&event=EVV1:454094&emailFlag=true