In 2001, GFL hosted the first annual soccer tournament at Brookdale Park in Essex County to raise funds for breast cancer research, treatment, education and awareness of this life threatening disease. Our proceeds of 31,000 dollars were donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation North Jersey Affiliate. 2002′s fund raising activities continuned to support breast cancer, with the proceeds of $28,000 donated to St. Michael’s “In the Pink” program in Newark, New Jersey. Our third annual women’s soccer tournament was played in Brookdale Park on June 7th, 2003, along with our sports memorabilia auction held at the beautiful Van Vleck House and Gardens in Montclair on February 8th, 2003 to benefit victims of domestic violence.
This year’s tournament will be held on June 1st.
Lisa Ciardi, Minnie Evans and Venera Gashi were exhilarated. They had just won their first soccer tournament, having played six hours in a cold, driving May rain at Montclair State University. They were entitled to enjoy their athletic accomplishments as soccer “playing” moms, particularly since they had taken up soccer at age 30 something less than two years ago. But more important than the medals around their necks was the knowledge that their team had helped raise several thousand dollars for fitness programs for women undergoing breast cancer treatment – the real goal of the tournament. Thus, the formation of Goals for Life, Inc. a grass-roots effort of three Essex County, New Jersey women whose energy and kindness will benefit others for years to come.
Lisa, Minnie and Venera came to play soccer after watching children from the sidelines for several years. In the fall of 1998, Lisa circulated a petition to friends and acquaintances at her three children’s schools in Montclair, New Jersey, and within weeks, more than a dozen women, many who had never kicked a soccer ball, were learning the game. Today, more than 200 women from the greater Montclair area are in leagues, taking clinics and attending summer soccer camps, thanks to Lisa’s first petition. Read more