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Volunteer of the Year

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The Volunteer of the Year award honors those who are excellent role models for their community. Willingness to promote players and soccer, sound moral and ethical character and increasing the opportunities to participate in soccer are all characteristics of nominees for the Volunteer of the Year award. The national Volunteer of the Year is announced at the US Youth Soccer Awards Gala, as a part of the US Youth Soccer Workshop.

2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 20122013
 
2013 US Youth Soccer Volunteer of the Year [Video]
Region III – Steve Wierzchowski – Broken Arrow, Okla.
 
2013 US Youth Soccer Volunteer of the Year regional winners:
 
Region I – Chris Clifford – Gloucester, Va.
Chris Clifford has coached every age and gender and also had a hand in building many of the fields where local kids play. He’s helped develop nearly every soccer field in Gloucester County and has volunteered on the Baystars FC Board of Directors for many years. Chris doesn’t hesitate to fill vacant coaching positions at the club, and he continues to play soccer, as he and his wife, Polly, organize adult pick-up games twice a week.
 
Region II – Millard Graber – Goshen, Ind.
Soccer became part of Millard Graber’s life at age 10 when his family moved to Brazil. After moving back to the U.S., he played at Goshen College and has since helped advance the game in the Goshen community. He volunteers his time to coach and has helped build a soccer complex for the Goshen Stars. Millard’s efforts allow many kids to play the game at a low cost, which gives them an outlet to have fun outside of school.
 
Region III – Steve Wierzchowski – Broken Arrow, Okla.
Steve Wierzchowski implemented technology to create a more efficient and effective registration process for the Broken Arrow Soccer Club. In addition to his registrar role, Steve is always quick to volunteer for any responsibilities within the club and acts as a positive figure at all times. He will now guide the club as president and continue to be a role model and trustworthy leader for the members of Broken Arrow SC.
 
Region IV – Polly-Beth Odom – Wasilla, Alaska
Serving on several committees within Alaska Youth Soccer, Polly-Beth Odom has participated in guiding the State Cup, budget, coaching development and more. She served as State Cup chair for nine years and has been the AYS Vice President since 2006. In that time, Polly-Beth helped start the state’s first US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer program and assisted with the operation of the 2013 US Youth Soccer Region IV Presidents Cup in Boise, Idaho. No matter the situation, she brings calm, logical advice to her volunteer work.
 
 
2012 US Youth Soccer Volunteer of the Year [Video]
Region III – Zoe Unger –Boca Raton, Fla.
 
2012 US Youth Soccer Volunteer of the Year regional winners:
 
Region I – Melody McNulty – Newark, Del.
Since her daughters began playing soccer at a young age, Melody McNulty has been involved in the sport. She acted as team manager for both her girls’ teams for five and three years, respectively. McNulty is also the State Registrar for Delaware Youth Soccer Association and goes above and beyond to get players on the field. When the secretary at DYSA stepped down, McNutly was quick to ask how she could help the organization during the transition period.
 
Region II – Abdirizak Said – St. Paul, Minn.
The philosophy that guides Abdirizak Said is that every child should have the opportunity to play soccer. He believes soccer helps build character and often says the sport prepares a person for success. Said hasn’t received any monetary compensation for his work in soccer, but is pushed by his moral and ethical standards that make him someone who is looked up to in the community.
 
Region III – Zoe Unger – Boca Raton, Fla.
Zoe Unger has long been a volunteer for TOPSoccer and since her 13th birthday, she has planned a service project each year to benefit the program. Now a high school senior, Unger has organized a fundraising event for the past three years that’s grown into a 5v5 tournament. She continues to work as a buddy captain for TOPSoccer and also volunteers for her temple’s youth group and plans to volunteer as a counselor at a camp in Georgia.
 
Region IV – Sue Hughes – Gresham, Ore.
Through her volunteer work, Sue Hughes has helped the game of soccer have a larger reach in her community. She has acted as a team treasurer, member of the recreation board and auction committee and she almost single handedly introduced Eastside United FC’s TOPSoccer program to the area. Despite her numerous volunteer roles and running her own business, Hughes is always one of the first people to offer additional help at club functions.
 
 
2011 US Youth Soccer Volunteer of the Year
Region II – Patricia Monaghen –Westwood, Kan.
 
2011 US Youth Soccer Volunteer of the Year regional winners: 
Region I – Joseph Williams –Wilmington, Del.
Joseph Williams has been a devoted volunteer in the Concord Soccer Association for 15 years. Williams has exuded his love for the game in all his roles, including as a coach, program coordinator, board member, board president and site manager for field construction. His landmark achievement is securing land for the association to develop soccer fields of its own.
 
Region II – Patricia Monaghen –Westwood, Kan.
In her more than 25 years as a volunteer, Patricia Monaghen has served as manager, coach, registrar and club president. Her tireless service to the North East United Soccer Club has increased the club's ability to provide financial assistance to families and obtained more practice fields for the club. She has also served as an active volunteer for US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer (The Outreach Program for Soccer).
 
Region III – Keith Ash –Broken Arrow, Okla.
Keith Ash has held every board position with Broken Arrow Soccer Club, but is still seen on weekends on the fields filling holes, fixing nets and securing fields. Ash has also served as president of Green Country Soccer Association and continues to lend his passion and expertise to grow the sport in eastern Oklahoma. His seemingly endless volunteer hours provide players a fun environment in which to play.
 
Region IV – Lisa Rhoades –Carlsbad, N.M.
Lisa Rhoades seems to stretch time—as mother to four children, busy keeping up with her household and full-time employment, she finds the time devote to Carlsbad Soccer League. Rhoades serves simultaneously as concessions director and registrar for the league. Rhoades donates hundreds of hours each year to make the soccer community special for players, parents, coaches and spectators.
 
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2010 US Youth Soccer Volunteer of the Year
Region II – Charles Gauder – Beavercreek, Ohio (Ohio South)

2010 US Youth Soccer Volunteer of the Year regional winners:
Region I – Alan Zeigler – Lewisburg, Pa. (Eastern Pennsylvania)

North Union United was formed in 1998 by Alan Zeigler whose only hope was for his boys to have a soccer club to be a member of and to share the game. Since then, purely through volunteer work, Zeigler has seen the club grow to encompass more than 20 teams. Through the club's growth, he has acted as a coach, treasurer and registrar for the budding organization. Though his children are no longer involved in the game, he continues to freely give of his time.

Region II – Charles Gauder – Beavercreek, Ohio (Ohio South)
When Charles Gauder's daughter became involved in soccer in 1983, he did as well. Since then, he has taken on several roles within Beavercreek Soccer Association including field director, making twice-daily trips to the complex to ensure the fields are open and accessible to players. Gauder is also certified as a referee so he steps up when needed, and he is also responsible for streamlining referee scheduling and data collection. His leadership and spirit of cooperation has been contagious, adding to the number of families that volunteer.    

Region III – Matt Hooker – Walterboro, S.C.
As the field coordinator for Walterboro Soccer Club, Matt Hooker worked tirelessly to oversee the completion of the new 19 acre complex. Completing the majority of the work through his efforts power and through that of other volunteers, he orchestrated the entire process, even securing $25,000 from the city council to dig a well and have irrigation installed. With Hooker's determination and leadership, the fields were finished and sprouting within three months of the project beginning.

Region IV – Deb Bergen – Aberdeen, Wash.
Deb Bergen began working with Harbor Youth Soccer as a supportive soccer parent. Her involvement grew and continued beyond her children's playing years serving as a club administrator while also being willing to fill any other empty roll. Bergen manages the concession stand that benefits the club's scholarship fund, and she coordinates with the local school district for high school students to volunteer their time to work in the concession stand.

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2009 US Youth Soccer Volunteer of the Year
Jay Ziminsky, Delaware Youth Soccer Association

2009 US Youth Soccer Volunteer of the Year regional winners:
Region I – Jay Ziminsky – Middleton, Del.

Jay Ziminsky volunteers as president of Middletown Odessa Townsend Soccer (M.O.T.) in Delaware. Under his leadership, M.O.T. has grown to the second largest club in the state. His commitment to the success of the organization is exemplified in his willingness to do what it takes to keep things running smoothly, from lining fields to spending Saturdays at the soccer fields or sorting and organizing uniforms and equipment. Ziminsky is responsible for implementing training courses for coaches and referees, and he routinely organizes outings to professional soccer games for players.

Region II – Michael Parsons – Topeka, Kan.
Michael Parsons first volunteered to coach his eight-year-old daughter's soccer team. Fourteen years later, he is still involved and making an impact in the Sunflower Soccer Association as a board trustee and TOPSoccer coordinator. It was Parsons' desire to see soccer available to all youth, regardless of ability, that drove him to create Topeka TOPSoccer. The program now boasts 27 dedicated participants. Parsons' excitement for the game is contagious and has spread to others in his community.

Region III – George Raleigh – Broken Arrow, Okla.
George Raleigh, like most, began volunteering when his children first started playing soccer 15 years ago. Through his years of service as a coach, referee, board member and tournament staff director, he has become known for being an honest, fair and hardworking volunteer. Raleigh's dedication is unwavering. Those within the Broken Arrow Soccer Club know they can count on his knowledge and hard work to carryout successful programs. Most recently, he has taken on the task of Scheduling Committee chairman for Green Country Soccer Association.
Region IV – Kimberly Wriggle – Eugene, Ore.
Kimberly Wriggle found her niche for volunteering three years ago when she jumped at the challenge of spearheading fundraising efforts for a newly formed soccer club. Through her efforts, Eugene Metro Futbol Club (EMFC) currently provides 10 percent of its membership with financial assistance through scholarships. It was Wriggle's initiatives that fostered a relationship to provide concession services at various University of Oregon events. Her efforts have helped to raise over $70,000 for EMFC in three short years.

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2008 US Youth Soccer Volunteer of the Year
Sara Kluttz, Ootewah, Tenn.
  
2008 US Youth Soccer Volunteer of the Year regional winners:
Region I – Russ Horn – Centreville, Va.
As a founding member of Southwestern Youth Association Soccer, Russ Horns has dedicated his time to the game since 1973. He has played every roll possible through his years of volunteering by coaching, refereeing, serving as an administrator, board of director member and president, maintaining fields, scheduling games and practices and implementing new recreational, outreach and travel soccer programs. His love for the game has continued beyond the playing years of his children and his work has touched the lives of many players.

Region II – Dave Harvey – Omaha, Neb.
Dave Harvey is a founding member of the Gretna Soccer Club and has served as president for over 19 years. Through his years in the game, Harvey has mentored many individuals to foster growth and support within his local soccer community. Under his leadership, the club has expanded to offer TOPSoccer, recreational and competitive teams, as well as professional training to players. His high morals and ethics lead him to do the right thing for each child with regards to soccer has always shone through in all of his efforts.

Region III – Sara Kluttz – Ooltewah, Tenn.
Sara Kluttz has been active in soccer since she began playing at the age of five in Chattanooga, Tenn. Her calling to give back to the game came a little over two years ago when she was on her way to a soccer camp and noticed how many kids were without anything to do during the summer. Her answer was to create a soccer camp to involve them. The first year she had 60 participants and the second summer, she reached over 250 kids while expanding the camp to accommodate as many kids as possible, regardless of transportation and equipment needs. Each year, Kluttz recruits more volunteers and reaches more kids and she plans to continue the camp as she continues to play soccer at Austin Peay University.
 
Region IV – Neil Callahan – Seattle, Wash.
Neil Callahan dedicated more than 10 years of his life to developing and enhancing programs for the Seattle Youth Soccer Association. He was passionate about recreational players having the same opportunities as select teams. Through much perseverance, his vision of creating a spring league for recreational players came to fruition. Callahan's service to soccer has included positions as past president of Queen Anne Soccer Club, vice president of recreational development, commissioner and president of Seattle Youth Soccer Association; however, those titles do not define all of his efforts. He organized training activities and clinics, learned to referee so he could help when needed and recruited and mentored many other volunteers to see that children were guaranteed an excellent experience in youth sports. Callahan passed away in December of 2008.


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2007 US Youth Soccer Volunteer of the Year
John Duvall, Kentucky Youth Soccer Association
  
 
2007 US Youth Soccer Volunteer of the Year regional winners: 
Region I – Robbie L. Rickert, Manchester, CT
Robbie L. Rickert, from Manchester, CT, has served as the president of the Manchester Soccer Club since 1999. She also serves as the risk management chairperson, is the tournament director of the Nutmeg Tournament, is a team manager for an Under-10 team, coaches an Under-17 recreational team and became a certified referee to better learn the rules of the game. Rickert helps to promote soccer for all children, both recreational and competitive. She is an excellent role model and continues to be a good ambassador for the sport.
 
Region II - John Duvall, Paris, KY
John Duvall, of Paris, KY, has served many roles for the Paris Youth Soccer Association over the past eight years. John has coached recreational and competitive teams, worked as a registrar and scheduler, and he currently coaches an Under-14 competitive team. John is also frequently available to referee making sure all games are adequately covered. On top of these responsibilities, he also supervises and maintains the fields and also prepares the materials for off-season storage. Duvall donates his time and effort to ensure that young soccer players in his community have an organization and a facility to pursue their soccer dreams.
 
Region III - Patti Wilson, Saucier, MS
Patti Wilson, from Saucier, MS, volunteers for the D'Iberville Youth Soccer Organization. She started the first year of the club's US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer (The Outreach Program for Soccer). Because her own seven-year-old triplets are part of the program, the level playing field is very important to her family. She has traveled hundreds of miles to talk to schools and organizations about TOPSoccer. She also volunteered to contact businesses for sponsorships and she is the TOPSoccer photographer. She is dedicated to the program and its players.
 
Region IV – Sandy Castillo, Placentia, CA
Sandy Castillo, from Placentia, CA, started the first US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer program in the California Youth Soccer Association - South at the Junior United Soccer Association about 16 years ago. The program has since grown from 5 to over 90 players. Castillo is the Director of TOPSoccer for her club and the TOPSoccer Chairperson for California Youth Soccer-South. Since she took on that responsibility, at least two new TOPSoccer programs have started every year. Castillo also establishes sponsorships to assist in player uniforms and special equipment for their unique needs.

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