COLUMBIA — There is already a decided winner for Saturday's game between two local girls soccer clubs — the kids at Coyote Hill Christian Children's Home.
The Columbia Pride Soccer Club and the Carrera Soccer Club have joined forces in a fundraising effort to buy toys and supplies for kids at Coyote Hill, a home for abused and neglected children in Harrisburg. The effort will culminate in the first ever Community Cup, a charity soccer match between the teams scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday at the Rock Bridge High School soccer field.
Danny Graville, an assistant coach for the Pride squad, said he expects the event to grow and become a perennial charity.
“We battle and compete hard on the field,” he said, “but we wanted to work together to create something good outside of the field.”
Sarah Cavin, an assistant coach for Carrera Soccer Club, said her team is eager for the match that will be the last time some of the 18-year-olds will play at the club level.
“They’re excited,” she said. “My girls are chit-chatting about the game and getting ready to go purchase gifts this afternoon. Even the girls that can’t play want to donate money and help out.”
Girls on both teams raised money individually before Wednesday night, when they visited Walmart to purchase the toys and supplies. Graville established one rule for his team about fundraising efforts:
“You can’t go to your parents,” he said.
Some girls asked their teachers for donations, while one of the girls on the team who rides horses, raked and cleaned up leaves at a stable for money, Graville said.
Cavin said the girls of the Carrera Soccer Club made sacrifices as well.
“Some mentioned donating money from their own paychecks,” she said. “It’s a pretty admirable thing for a 17-year-old girl to do.”
Mary Bowman, 17, a captain of the Pride team and senior at Rock Bridge High School, said most of the fundraising efforts were carried out at school.
“We’ve been walking around asking for money at school,” she said. “Teachers, students and administrators have donated a lot of money, as well as school clubs.”
Cavin expects the quality of the game to match the quality of the cause.
“It’s always a great game, and a good, friendly rivalry,” she said. “The games are always close, the girls say ‘hey’ to each other after the game, and it’s just one more way to get on the field together.”