The Windham Youth Soccer Association did not ask sponsors for donations when it began to financially navigate the pandemic several months ago.
With the continued support of their team of volunteers and generous donations from past years, they were fortunate enough to be able to have a season this fall.
On Nov. 9, the signs at WYSA’s Gambo Field in Windham were found vandalized. There are plans to replace the signs before the start of the next season. This added expense, among others, makes it difficult for the organization and they could use your help.
The Windham Youth Soccer Association was founded 38 years ago with a mission to develop, promote and administer soccer programs for Windham residents ages 2 to 14. They are an integral part of the community, teaching the game to many who now may be teaching it to the next generation.
WYSA normally runs programs two to three times a year; a fall and spring program along with occasional clinics in the winter and summer.
This year they had to cancel the spring sessions because of COVID-19. This put an additional financial burden on the organization; the fields and facilities still need to be maintained. WYSA is also committed to not increasing programming costs.
“Out of respect to local businesses being affected by Covid-19, WYSA elected not to solicit any sponsorship funding this year,” said WYSA board member and coach, Ken Clark. “WYSA is a 100 percent voluntary organization (and) relies on small participation fees to play and money from sponsors
to pay all the expenses that go along with running this organization.”
WYSA is contemplating closing field access to vehicles during the off-season when there are no soccer activities happening during field hours. Vehicle access to the boat launch and trestle would be eliminated due to increase in vandalism and cars speeding through the facility.
Clark said that the added traffic has done damage to their roads and creates safety concerns when children are present. Gating the facility would prevent situations like this from happening in the future.
There has also been talk of security cameras, though that is a significant investment and could take away from WYSA’s ability to provide programming.
“While we are happy we were in a position to manage through this season, it has impacted our ability to continue to invest in our facility and programming,” said WYSA Treasurer Brian Dries.
Clark said that unexpected expenses like replacement of the sign have a detrimental effect on the budget.
“WYSA is run completely by volunteers and are always looking for those with interest in helping out to reach out to us, said Dries. “Volunteering has connected us better to the community, forged great bonds between people driven with a shared desire to promote great programming for kids in the Windham Community.”
If you have interest in helping out, please check out their website at www.windhamyouthsoccer.com or email: President@windhamyouthsoccer.com.
If you are a business who would like to sponsor a team, find the information on the WYSA website about how to contribute.
If you would like to make a donation, you can mail a check payable to:
Windham Youth Soccer Association to PO Box 389, Windham, Maine 04062. <