Second Annual Holiday Cup presents soccer for a good cause

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Four local high school boys soccer programs are joining forces to take part in the Second Annual Holiday Cup Dec. 20 at Creekside High School.

Nease head coach Fred Hallett and Creekside head coach Cameron Crandall teamed up last year for the inaugural event, which turned the matchup between the two teams into a fundraising effort.

The initiative has already shown growth in year two, as Bartram Trail and Mandarin will also play each other in the first game of the showcase at 5:30 p.m., while Nease and Creekside will take the field in game two starting at 7:20 p.m.

“The more people we can reach, the more help we can give to those in need,” Hallett said.

Not only is the Holiday Cup a unique fundraising effort, but there will also be some excellent soccer on display, as all four teams are ranked in the top 50 in the state regardless of class.

“It’s a great chance to see some really cool soccer and give back at the same time,” Hallett said.

According to Hallett, the gate for the game will be waived, but they are asking that people instead donate the $5 it would usually cost for a ticket to Soaring High or the Betty Griffin Center, which are the two nonprofit organizations the night will benefit this year.

On top of accepted donations at the game, attendees of the games are also asked to bring items to be donated, such as books for children, kid’s socks, twin-sized bedding that is light blue, light pink or grey, blankets.

Gift cards to either Publix, Winn-Dixie or Wal-Mart are also welcome.

The idea for holding such a fundraiser was something that Hallett had been thinking about for a couple of years now, and it all fell into place a year ago.

“I was talking and thinking about it out loud and Cameron was all on board to do what he could to help as well,” Hallett said. “We want to teach our players how to give and show them how they can really get involved and make an impact in the community around them. Sometimes you just have to start small, but it’s a start.”

First Coast Mortgage is the sponsor for the Holiday Cup, and Hallett welcomes any other businesses or residents in the communities that want to get involved to reach out by emailing him at fredhallett12@gmail.com.

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