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Poquoson Kiwanis Club Donates Thousands From Soccer Tournament Proceeds
Submitted by Joseph Discenza

PoqKiw imageAt its regular Tuesday meeting the Kiwanis Club of Poquoson awarded a total of $14,140.00 to two charities, from proceeds of the Christine Garvey Memorial Soccer Tournament, held at various peninsula venues in March.

2019 was the 20th year of the tournament which has now raised over $180,000 for different charities, all related to women's and children's health.

This year saw participation by 32 teams from 16 high schools from as far away as Virginia Beach and Suffolk, on 8 soccer fields at six different venues.

Pat Garvey, Christine's husband and Kiwanis member, began the annual Christine Garvey Memorial Soccer Tournament in 2000 as a way for the Garvey family to process their grief after Christine's death. When she was undergoing cancer treatments in September 1998, she watched from the sidelines as her son, Kyle, scored a rare goal at Wolf Trap Park in Yorktown. Memories of Christine's joyful reaction to the goal, scored just weeks before her death that December, became the driving force behind the creation of the tournament.

In addition to honoring Christine Garvey's memory and raising awareness for breast cancer, proceeds from the tournament go to charities associated with cancer. In the past, the tournament has supported the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Starting in 2013, the proceeds have gone to two local charities, Edmarc Hospice for Children in Portsmouth and Beyond Boobs!

Here for the Girls is based in Williamsburg and acts as a support group for women under 50 afflicted with breast cancer. Established in 1978, Edmarc Hospice for Children in Portsmouth, Virginia was the first hospice in the nation designed specifically for children.

The tournament has grown into into a 32- team seasonal kickoff for the boys and girls soccer teams from throughout Hampton Roads. The tournament seeks to match teams against foes they are unlikely to meet in the regular season and the event is usually the first time the participating teams will step onto the field in any given season.

The tournament is staffed and officiated entirely by a cadre of volunteers from area Kiwanis clubs, Key clubs, CNU students, soccer clubs, and the Peninsula Soccer Officials Association.

Garvey schedules the tournament each year to begin shortly after the Virginia High School League's designated start date. Because the tournament is so popular, most teams are quick to secure their spots in next year's tournament less than two weeks after the previous tournament concludes.

"Invitations for next year's tournament will go out shortly and we will usually have 20 to 25 of the 32 teams within two weeks," Garvey says. "To me, that's just a testament that the teams like the tournament and want to play in it. I never have trouble filling it up."

 





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