Madison County youth soccer league faces possible shutdown over lack of funds
MADISON COU NTY, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) -- Leaders of a youth soccer league in Madison County are asking for the community's help Monday night.
The association could shut down and parents say hundreds of kids would miss out on opportunities it's provided for years.
It's called the Jonathan Alder Soccer Association, with kids from preschool through 8th grade, and they need funding. League leaders are scrambling to raise money to make sure their kids can keep playing the game they love.
Jennifer Gross' son, 9-year-old E.J., plays in the league.
"It means a lot. It means a lot to my family. A lot to my friends," Gross said."We love to come out here and be a part of the community. The families that we've met through this soccer league have become family to us."
But, that family, of 300 plus kids is in jeopardy. Two years ago, they lost their home fields and have been renting fields ever since. As a result, costs went up. They need about $300,000 to buy and maintain property.
"It would really be something detrimental to our family and this community if we lost that," Gross said.
League leaders are trying to get a conditional use permit. David Lanka coaches Jonathan Alder High's varsity boys team and says they get guys from this league.
"We were struggling to get players and now we have 40 boys who came out this year," Lanka said.
Tim Cameron coaches in the league.
"If you look at the success of the high school teams the last few years. Those kids are. a huge majority of them are coming up through this J.A.S.A. program," Cameron said.
Canaan Township leaders say it comes down to zoning and they can resolve the issue, if they get funding. Township officials say they recently discussed letting them stay for the spring and fall, next year.
Township leaders also say they're going to discuss this issue again with neighbors in the near future. League officials say they will deliver a petition to township leaders at their meeting Monday night.
If you would like to help the Jonathan Alder Soccer Association, click on the following link..