by Jay Hoffman
Volunteerism is a pretty easy, yet very important concept. You offer your time or talents to benefit an organization, group, or person at no charge. It is on this very principle, along with a passion for soccer, that the Portage Soccer Club was founded in 1985. What started with just 6 teams and roughly 100 players has grown to an organization that now boasts 38 teams with almost 600 players ranging from Select to MRL playing divisions! This is an amazing accomplishment that is made possible only through the countless volunteers who are behind every aspect of the club from facility maintenance, concessions, mowing, coaching, fundraising, communications, and running the Portage Classic tournament.
The PSC is southwestern Michigan’s largest 501(c)(3) not for profit club. We offer the highest level of coaching to our player’s who not only have a very nice practice facility but also play on premier pitches at every home match. This all comes at the modest player fee averaging $335 per player. Comparatively, our rates are as reasonable as one quarter the cost of other local clubs, all due to the hard work of our volunteer staff.
As stated earlier, the concept of volunteerism is an easy one to understand, however, putting the concept in to day-to-day life can be challenging. Many of the “backbone” volunteers have been giving their time and energy for years, long after their children have grown and become adults. We currently have a few that volunteer because their “players” have grown and now the grandchildren have become PSC players, continuing the labor of love they have for the club.
To share one example of the countless volunteer hours spent working for the club, let us look at the facilities group. Each week, during both the season and off season, this group of individuals donates their time mowing, striping, and manicuring both the practice field and complex. These 8 individuals donate a combined 1600 hours a year, and this is just one facet of the many areas behind the scenes. To put this into a financial perspective think of it in these terms: If we paid for these services, 1600 hours at a conservative rate of $35-45 per hour the total ranges from $56,000 to $72,000 in just field preparation and maintenance.
On a personal note, my daughter was welcomed into the club in the spring of 2011. I immediately felt the excitement of the team and parents, as well as my daughter’s excitement for her new sport. I soon noticed her coach, and several parents from the team, who served the club in different areas. I joined the tournament committee and also became VP of Uniforms. Through my volunteer work I have gained many friendships along with the satisfaction of helping for the good of the club and being part of an organization that has a great sports philosophy and that I am proud to be affiliated with.
That being said, the club cannot continue to grow and uphold our great foundation without new and continued volunteers. There are volunteer opportunities for everyone at the PSC whether you only have 1 hour to offer per week or 5, whether you can volunteer on a long term basis or only volunteer for one project. My hope is that every parent will take a moment to think about the talents that they could contribute to our club and act on it.
Portage Soccer Club is a non-profit organization, run by volunteers in the greater Portage, Michigan community who have a passion for soccer and commitment to our players and their development.
PSC owns and maintains the Portage Soccer Complex at 4422 Bishop Road, Portage MI (east of Sprinkle and south of Bishop/Romence) where home games are played. This nine field complex opened in 2002 and is now recognized as one of the foremost soccer complexes in Michigan.
In 2008, the Club opened an eight field practice facility which also includes two training grids. This allows teams plenty of space and at least one goal to shoot on at a time which is convenient for the team. The practice facility also enables other development activities such as common goalkeeper training.
Our Club would not exist without the support of our volunteers. Below is a list of volunteer opportunities. Please check back often for additional needs.
Our concession stand is a great asset to the Portage Soccer Complex. In addition to enticing players and spectators with cold drinks, fresh popcorn, candy, or a cold freezer pop after a hard game, our concession stand offers a resource to both our teams and our visitors.
Our volunteers offer assistance, answer questions, provide ice and assistance for injuries, and serve as a communication hub. In addition, the concession stand volunteers monitor the restrooms and pick up trash on the fields.
We are continually looking for volunteers to help keep our concession windows open. We are seeking volunteers willing to learn about how the complex operates and serve as assistant coordinators for our concession stand. There is a lot of flexibility with this opportunity, as well as the opportunity to work with a variety of people and schedules. It is also a great opportunity to get to know the families within Portage Soccer Club. This could be an internship possibility for high school and/or college students, volunteer hours for high school students over the age of 16, or something that you just have a heart for.
Please stop in when we are open or contact Cheryl Kucharski at email@example.com if you are interested in talking about how you might be able to assist with keeping our concession stand open and running strong!
With the fall soccer season underway, the PSC Soccer Ball Committee is also putting together a team to plan the 2017 PSC 3rd Annual Soccer Ball Fundraiser!
The PSC Soccer Ball is a fun night out for parents and a fundraiser for the PSC Scholarship Program. The goal of the PSC Scholarship Fund is to make the club soccer experience available to all qualified soccer players who have the talent and commitment, but who may not otherwise be able to afford the expense of competitive club soccer.
The first PSC Soccer Ball held in 2015 was a great success with a net profit of $3,700 and the 2016 PSC Soccer Ball was an even bigger success raising $5,700!
If you are interested in joining the PSC Soccer Ball Planning Committee, please contact the Fundraiser Director, Amy Areaux, at firstname.lastname@example.org. The first meeting is being held the last week of September. We have a LOT of opportunities for your talents to be used - The more volunteers, the better time we all have working together.