Sunday, November 2, 2008

City Collects Soccer Balls in Honor of Soldier

COOPER CITY, FL (CBS4) ― Children in Cooper City are collecting soccer balls to send to children in Iraq, in honor of a U.S. soldier who wanted to donate the balls as a gesture of good-will.

Private Nicholas Madaras had a love for soccer, whether it was in the U.S. or overseas. Two years ago, while Madaras was on leave, the young soldier from Wilton, Connecticut wanted to round up as many soccer balls as possible. He planned to hand them out to Iraqi children, who were less fortunate.

But he never got the chance. His life was cut short by a roadside bomb in 2006. Private Madaras was only 19 years old.

His dream did not die. His family created "Kick for Nick" to continue to collect as many soccer balls as possible from across the country to send to Iraq."If you mention soccer in Cooper City, there's a ball in every garage and every car, and there's always a child ready to give it up for someone less fortunate than them," explained Cooper City Commissioner James Curran.

Thursday night, Cooper City leaders honored kids 10 and under for collecting soccer balls. Even though they're young, they understand what it means to give.

"It makes me feel good because some people like soccer in Iraq," Brett Kraut said, "and some people like them and they're going to have a lot of fun."

Michael Hughes added, "I think they're going to feel really happy 'cause they're less privileged than us."

Cooper City will collect soccer balls until Friday, November 7th. They're trying to collect at least a thousand to send overseas. If you want to find out more about how to help, visit the "Kick for Nick" website.

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