Soccer club raising funds to buy property

BELPRE – The Belpre Soccer Club may need to find a new location, but for now the organization is working hard to raise money in an attempt to purchase the property that has served as its home for over 15 years.

Kari Smith, the soccer club’s fundraising coordinator, said the soccer club has been given the option of purchasing the property itself and those efforts are now underway in the Belpre community and on the Internet through the www.gofundme.com website by searching for Belpre Soccer Club.

The property’s owners are interested in selling the property along Washington Boulevard but declined to comment at this time when contacted Saturday.

Smith said a collection drive was held Saturday at Kroger’s in Belpre and over $1,600 was raised. One day after the online effort began, the www.gofundme.com site showed over $1,500 in pledges.

“Our community has done so well for us so far,” Smith said Saturday.

Another fundraiser is planned for July 11 at Civitan Park and will feature inflatables from 4-9:15 p.m. and a movie showing beginning at 9:15 p.m., she said.

Smith said the club is seeking to raise $115,000 for the property purchase. A total of $150,000 is the overall goal, which would also help cover fees due to the purchase and to cover costs to maintain the fields, she said.

According to its www.gofundme.com profile, the Belpre Soccer Club is a volunteer-based organization consisting of more than 420 children and 42 coaches that has been established for over 15 years. It has a board consisting of 13 members that meet each month to keep the fields in good shape.

The Belpre Soccer Club holds spring and fall seasons, so the fields are not currently in use by the children, she said.

The club operates on fundraisers, registration fees and sponsors and has been paying $6,000 per year in rent for use of the fields, Smith said.

If the club is unsuccessful in its effort to purchase the current field site, Smith said any funds received will be retained to use toward the purchase of alternative land for new fields.

Any questions can be emailed to her at karismith226@gmail.com or the Belpre Soccer Club at belpresoccet@gmail.com. The club’s website is www.belpresoccerclub.com.