The Graeme Preston Foundation for Life is a charitable organization based in Freehold, NJ. The foundation rose from the tragic loss of middle school student Graeme Preston in 2008. His family created the organization as a memorial to Graeme. Since then, the Graeme Preston Foundation for Life has given so much back to the community. The foundation supports individuals and groups who demonstrate and uphold the principles by which Graeme lived. This includes scholarships, awards and support for people who have suffered unexpected loss or hardship.
Graeme’s loss was felt by not only his family, but also the entire community. Like many kids in Freehold, Graeme played soccer. Several players on my daughter’s travel soccer team were close with Graeme. His former teammates continue to play soccer in the Freehold Soccer League, coached by his father Scott Preston. Scott and his family have exhibited tremendous strength and courage throughout this ordeal. I admire everything he and his family have done to turn this tragedy into a positive force in the community.
Graeme Preston Foundation for Life Picnic
The foundation conducts special events throughout the year. In early June, they hold an annual picnic. This is a wonderful day of food and fun. Many people, including Graeme’s friends and family, attend the event. Many of the players on my daughter’s soccer team volunteer at the event.
Graeme Preston Memorial Soccer Marathon
Held in August, this annual soccer tournament starts early in the morning and continues through late afternoon. It is an annual fundraiser for the foundation. Each team raises money for the event. It is probably my favorite soccer tournament of the year. Scores are not kept. There are no standings or trophies. It is just a day where teams can play soccer and have fun, just like Graeme did. The kids really enjoy the tournament too. They play in a zero-pressure environment. They try skills on the field that they might not normally do. Most of all, they play with a smile. It’s a great event that reminds everyone why we play the game of soccer.
Graeme’s League of Volunteers
The people who volunteer their time to support the foundation are known as Graeme’s League of Volunteers. The list of charities and activities they support can be found on the foundation’s web site. Many of Graeme’s friends are volunteers, but anyone can help. Becoming a member of Graeme’s League of Volunteers is easy. Volunteers must be at least 13 years of age and can sign up right on the web site.
These are just a few ways the Graeme Preston Foundation for Life gives back to the community. The foundation has done a wonderful job supporting the community and remembering the principles that Graeme stood for. If you would like to find out how you can support the Graeme Preston Foundation for Life, please visit their web site at http://graemeprestonfoundation.org .
Edwin Torres has been coaching youth soccer since 2001. He is currently the head coach of two travel soccer teams in Freehold, NJ. He holds a category “F” license for coaching in the New Jersey State Youth Soccer Association. He was a certified USSF Grade 8 referee in 2004. Edwin is also certified as a Double-Goal coach through the Positive Coaching Alliance.