By Jessica Van Alphen, Impact intern and Marist College student
As some of you may remember, at our grand opening party we asked our guests to jot down the name of a local charity for our $500 donation raffle and slip it into a provided box. President and CEO of Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce, Frank Castella Jr., swirled his hand around in the box and pulled out the winning charity, Kickin’ Back Ltd., a philanthropic organization that serves underserved communities through soccer, and one that Kim Kenyon of Gold’s Gym Dutchess County had entered into the raffle.
On a rainy Saturday morning at Stringham Park in LaGrange, Impact’s Filomena Fanelli and Nikki D’Aleo were excited to present members of Kickin’ Back with the winning $500 donation, especially since the organization inspires children and helps local and national communities. The Impact team proudly supports local soccer, from beginning levels, such as the LaGrange Soccer Club, where the kids of Impact’s team members Filomena Fanelli, Nikki D’Aleo and Michelle Obligado play, to the elite level, the Kingston Stockade Football Club.
Winning the hearts of the local community, Kickin’ Back was founded by Kieran McIlvenny and Donna McIlvenny, who are committed to helping build sustainable communities by using soccer as a tool for positive social and physical development. They’ve seen first-hand how their organization’s efforts have made a difference, including during a trip to Namibia, where Kieran and Donna meet with local communities where they donated and distributed soccer equipment. Kickin’ Back is partnered with larger organizations like UNICEF/Galz and Goals, Goals for Hope/Miles of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation in the Hudson Valley.
From the left are, Phil Martinetti and Michelle Martinetti of Gold’s Gym; Nathaniel D’Aleo, future soccer star and his mother, Nikki D’Aleo of Impact PR & Communications; Kieran McIlvenny of Kickin’ Back; Filomena Fanelli of Impact PR & Communications; and Donna McIlvenny of Kickin’ Back.