On Sept. 2, 115 soccer players from 1st through 8th grades came together to play in the annual Justin Wynn SoccerFest at Evanston Township High School’s Lazier Field. The day was a true celebration of community and soccer as players affiliated with area organizations, such as AYSO, JaHbat, Team Evanston and Chicago Fire Juniors North Shore, came together with players not affiliated with any organization to participate in the tournament.

Players registered in groups of three, and two groups were paired to make a six-person team. The teams then competed in a five-on-five tournament. Each year a portion of the funds raised at SoccerFest are donated to a local organization chosen by the youth in the Justin Wynn leadership program. This year’s recipient is Books and Breakfast, a before-school program offering a healthy morning meal and homework help to Evanston elementary students in need of additional support.

 The Justin Wynn Fund was established in 1987 in loving memory of Justin Michael Wynn, who died in a swimming accident when he was nine 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.”

 The first place winners of this year’s SoccerFest were:

1st and 2nd Grade: Mia Sophier, Violet Llanes, Mattee Law, Jason Rosenberg, August Brasile and Declan Harvey

3rd and 4th Grade: Adriano DeAranjo, Kian Bish, Nate Westover, Vikram Kelly, Nolan Weiss and Noah Polansky

5th and 6th: Rowan Lynch, Xavier Del Real, Mia Darer, Reese  Reynolds, Orlando Tobin and Theo Rocca

7th and 8th: Spencer James, Sam Darer, Sebastian Suchowolecand and Alex Norman