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October 15, 2010 > Chaos girls soccer raise funds as team building

Chaos girls soccer raise funds as team building

Submitted By Wendy Reeves Dunn

Let's face it; its expensive fielding extramural youth sports. The cost of uniforms, field rentals, referees' fees, tournaments, transportation and hotel rooms for out-of-town games mounts up really fast. And, as the kids on the teams advance to become more competitive, the cost of trainers to improve players' skills can be prohibitive.

Parents want to support their kids' passion for sports, of course, but in today's economy it's getting tougher to spread the family budget. Sadly, some families are simply not able to afford their children's participation in city league sports and, when that occurs, the teams' rosters suffer. Or worse, the expense burden of the team's activities fall on a few families to underwrite; that can be a recipe for all sorts of problems.

Chaos, an under-19 Fremont ladies competitive soccer team, decided to raise funds and use the effort as a great opportunity for team building and parent inclusion. The team could have used the traditional method of having each player sell candy or cookie dough; there's nothing wrong with that, but those vehicles didn't fully address the team-building goals. Instead, Chaos looked for other avenues.

In Chaos' first team-building event, the soccer club teamed with BJ's, a local restaurant in Newark. Everyone worked hard to bring the team, their hungry families and friends to dinner on a pre-arranged date, then enjoyed the evening out together. In the process, Chaos learned that many restaurants are more than anxious to support local youth teams and see it as win-win to offer a percentage of their proceeds to the team who brings them paying customers.

Next, the team took a gamble and held a 20-family combination garage and bake sale. All the families donated treasures, baked treats, made signs, set up for business and cleaned up afterwards.

Chaos advertised through the regional Craig's List, e-mails and phone calls to get folks to come. They also picked a house that was situated perfectly so the team could tempt drivers passing by with baked delights. It was a lot of work, a ton of fun, a true team experience and it paid off with almost $1,000 added to the team's piggy bank --money that will pay for at least two tournaments and take pressure off family budgets.

And the most recent gig is working at the Pirates of Emerson Haunted Adventure at the Alameda Fairgrounds in Pleasanton. The business pays the team's workers, who volunteer their time on behalf of the team. Coaches, players and parents are working the shifts together. Saturday night, Oct. 9, was Chaos' first experience.

After the shift, everyone from Chaos involved went out for burgers and laughed themselves silly recounting the antics of the evening. The boo-ing and bonding were definitely enjoyed by all. Everyone will all be working three more shifts this month, so come on out and see the team in full garb.

As a result, the "family team" is building, our funds are growing and Chaos has been able to enter more soccer tournaments. Recently, Chaos enjoyed a first-place finish in the Santa Cruz Classic, which was reported in the Tri-City Voice Oct. 1 issue. Best of all, the increased teamwork of Chaos' players, coaches and parents are the hat trick to this success story.

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