SEPA Soccer Hall of Fame

Coats for Chester Success

This past fall the Southeastern Pennsylvania Soccer Hall of Fame conducted its fifth “Coats for Chester” event. The purpose was to collect warm winter coats from the soccer community and donate them to needy families in Chester, Pa., home of our Major League Soccer team, Philadelphia Union.

The program was not only hugely successful, but also very fulfilling as it showed that soccer people can make a difference off the field as well as on. A grand total of 2,285 coats were collected and distributed to needy children and adults in Chester.

The coats were given to four social service agencies, who handled their distribution. They were: The Bernardine Center Food Bank, God’s House of Glory Haven of Peace Church, the St. Katharine Drexel Food Cupboard and the City Team Ministries Homeless Shelter.

Special thanks go to the following groups and their coordinators, for their efforts in collecting coats:

  • Philadelphia Union: Leah Moore
  • Sons of Ben: Bill Gusler, Coat Drive Coordinator
  • Father Judge High School Soccer Program: Coach John Dunlop,
  • Philadelphia Academy High School girls’ soccer team: Coach Robert Mottershead
  • Holy Family University men’s soccer team: Coach Georg Montag, Jr.
  • Starfinder Soccer Foundation: Heidi Warren, Executive Director
  • Watertower Recreation Center: Brian McLaughlin, Supervisor
  • Pennsauken High School: Tom Honeyman, Assistant Principal
  • Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer: Chris Branscome, CEO
  • Tri-State Soccer Supplies, Grant Ave. Philadelphia: Greg Pasquarello
  • Villa Capri Ristorante, Doylestown: Matt Mannino
  • Dominic’s & The Side Door Pub: Dino Mannino
  • Alisha and Tim Rodgers
  • Bentley Systems
  • Glenmore Eagle Youth Association: Andrew Bellwoar
  • YSC Sports: Richie Graham, Patti Wolf
  • St. Thomas Aquinas Church Seton Seniors Club, Croyden, Pa.: Claire McDermott
  • Council Rock United Soccer Association: Cynthia Laggan
  • VE Soccer Club U-14 Boys Team: Coach Scott Rieber

The program could not have succeeded without the help of Hall of Fame inductee Bob Ludwig. Through his work, Bob was able to commit the Reads Moving Systems Company to help us. Reads was invaluable as they picked up the coats from the various collection locations, stored the coats and then they provided the trucks to deliver all the coats to the distribution sites in Chester. Thanks to Reads Moving Systems and Bob Ludwig for their help.

Yearly Collection Totals:
2010 – 670
2011 – 965
2012 – 1,450
2013 – 1.755
2014 – 2,115
2015 – 2,285
Six Year Total – 9,250

As our motto states, “Honoring the Past, Building the Future,” the SEPA Soccer Hall of Fame is not only committed to promoting the ‘beautiful game’, but it also strives to make a difference in our community. We will be doing our “Coats for Chester” program again in the fall of 2016. Please check back to our website ( in September for details. Also please follow and like us on Facebook (


  1. I love seeing the good work done here. Often undersold/broadcast, this work is really excellent and hopefully continues into the future. Well done all who participated!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *