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Under sunny skies on Sept. 3, nearly 140 soccer players from first through eighth grade came together to play in the Justin Wynn SoccerFest at Evanston Township High School Lazier Field. SoccerFest, which originally ran from 1987 to 2002, was revived this year. It was a true celebration of community and sportsmanship, as players from AYSO, Team Evanston, Eleven United, JaHbat, and other organizations collaborated with the Justin Wynn Fund to host the tournament.
Players competed based on grade level: grades 1 and 2; grades 3 and 4; grades 5 and 6; and grades 7 and 8. They signed up in groups of three, and two groups were paired together to form a six-person team. Teams then competed against each other, with four members of the team on the field at any given time.
The event featured concessions and activities for the whole family and raised funds, a portion of which will be contributed to a local charity. Youth in the Justin Wynn leadership program chose as beneficiary She is Code, which creates opportunities for young women and minorities to learn about technology.
The Justin Wynn Fund was established in 1987 in loving memory of Justin Michael Wynn, who died in a swimming accident when he was 9 years old. Family and friends founded The Justin Wynn Fund and later the Justin Wynn Leadership Academy with the mission “to celebrate and nurture youth leaders by helping them develop a deep sense of self and responsibility for improving their communities.”