families as they flock to the stand.
Penny, who’s been on the MYSA board for 28 years, first got involved as a coach when her daughter, now 38, was six years old. She went on to coach her other two children, fell in love with the sport, and later joined the board, recruiting her husband to the board as well.
“By the time our kids were grown and out of soccer, it was kind of in our blood,” she said. “Everybody needs some way to give back and I guess for us, it’s been MYSA.”
If not for MYSA’s board members, she continued, who are all volunteers having committed themselves to the Soccerplex project for years, construction of the new building or even the fields would not have happened. Her husband Ken, who’s been on the board for 26 years, and Denise Stein, an 18-year board member, were integral in getting the building from inception to construction, Penny said.
Ken became proficient in writing grant applications, Penny related, and the Soccerplex, which cost over $1 million, was paid in part by $700,000 in grant money raised from the state’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and Department of Environmental Protection, as well from Luzerne County, the Kirby Foundation, the U. S. Soccer Foundation, and Eastern PA Youth Soccer.
The rest of the money came from field sponsorships and private donations from residents –including Penny and Ken who donated $38,000 -and businesses throughout the area, she said.
Engineer George Albert, Penny said, worked with MYSA for ten years to get the Soccerplex where it is today. “Without him, there’d be no building, no fields, no nothing,” she remarked. She credited others, such as engineer Mike Webb, who donated many hours on the structural engineering of the building over two years.
Next, MYSA is raising funds to install indoor bathrooms to the concession building. “Once that’s in place, I’m tempted to say we are almost done,” said Penny. “…Time will tell. I’m just very happy with what we’ve accomplished.”