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BROOKLYN MEDIA GROUP/Photos by Arthur de Gaeta
BROOKLYN MEDIA GROUP/Photos by Arthur de Gaeta
68th Precinct Youth Council kicks off its soccer league.

It’s another goal!

The 68th Precinct Youth Council held its annual opening day ceremony for its increasingly popular soccer league on Saturday, September 9 at Ben Vitale Athletic Fields, 334 Bay Eighth Street, and hundreds of kids of all ages were eager to get their game on and start the promising season.

“Our opening day was a huge success as evidence by our councilman (Vincent Gentile) and state senator (Marty Golden) that came out to help us celebrate the event,” said President of the league Harry D’Onofrio. “Over 900 kids are in the program, we have over 59 teams and we play every Saturday and Sunday between now and the week before Thanksgiving.”

The league accepts kids of all ages. “It keeps them off the street and gives them a bond they can play through this sport,” D’Onofrio added.“On Saturday, at the opener, we had 60 kids approach us to inquire and register and play.”

In addition to the games held on an impressive 12 fields, there were also charitable components to the day.

“Joseph D’Onofrio, Nicholas D’Onofrio and Tommy Perez did Eagle Scout projects through which they enabled the youth council to save money, D’Onofrio explained, by helping the youth council put up a storage shed at the Bay Eighth Street field. As a result, he noted, “We were able to save $6,500 [through selling the van the league had previously used to transport equipment].” In addition, the league saved another $6,000 it would otherwise have spent on insurance for the van. “So it was a $12,000 windfall,” D’Onofrio said. Joseph and Nicholas each donated $1,000 to the youth council, in addition, to provide for “ongoing maintenance of the equipment and sheds,” he said.

The league also gave back to victims of Hurricane Harvey. Since the league had just bought new uniforms, D’Onofrio said it would be donating “something in the neighborhood of maybe 12 dozen uniforms with an estimated value of $4,000 to hurricane victims.”

D’Onofrio also credited devoted volunteers for making the league a continued success. “Our commissioner  Donna Fathelbab puts this all together,” he said. “She is tireless and is an integral part of the program. Rico Logozzo also helps by lining up the fields. We have 12 fields. To keep them maintained is quite the feat.”

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