PHOENIX -- A team of young soccer players from the valley is getting ready (hopefully!) to head to Hawaii to compete at a national level. The team is now trying to raise money for the trip.
The young soccer stars are based at Christ's Church of the Valley (CCV), a large church known for hosting memorial services for police officers and firefighters. In fact, just last week, the services for Phoenix Firefighter Brad Harper and Phoenix police officer Daryl Raetz were both held there.
On Thursday's Good Morning Arizona, two teams from CCV joined Scott Pasmore and Yetta Gibson. Both the U12 and U16 teams are state champs.
"Both teams have really prepared and have worked hard all season," says George Archuleta of the CCV Stars. "Now they're getting ready in June to go to Hawaii. It's a great opportunity for them to compete at a national level."
The teams are hosting a variety of fund-raising events to pay for travel to Hawaii to compete in the U.S. Youth Soccer Far West Region Championships, which will be held June 17-23.
The regional tournament only takes place in Hawaii every eight years, so usually the boys' soccer teams have been able to drive to the same tournament on the west coast in years past.
Boys and parents of the two teams will be working at concession stands at local events, reaching out to small businesses and individuals for tax deductible donations, and hosting a 3-on-3 youth soccer tournament at CCV on June 7.
The trip to Hawaii will cost each player $1,500, Currently, both teams are at the halfway point. "They've raised a substantial amount of money," Archuleta says. "But they're still short."
The U16 team is ranked #10 nationally and has already qualified for the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships in Kansas City July 22-28. The U16 team is the first-ever CCV STARS club to qualify for the national championship tournament.
The U12 team is ranked #5 nationally. And the kids say competing in Hawaii would be an amazing experience. "We're representing Arizona," one young player, Dylan, tells us. "It's our first year in State Cup, so it would be nice to win."
If you'd like to help the kids, the teams is looking for companies to sponsor them. "Companies can actually sponsor with tax deductible forms."
People are already responding to the boys' story. In fact, after seeing our segment on Thursday's Good Morning Arizona, an anonymous donor came forward to make an immediate donation to the teams.
For more information on the CCV STARS fundraisers or to donate, you can visit ccvstars.com/sponsor. You can also call 623-298-2923.