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President's Annual Letter




Hello NASA Community, 

 

As we approach the end of the year, the NASA Board wanted to take a moment to express our gratitude to the NASA community and reflect on what a fun, exciting and successful year it was for our program.  

 

With any volunteer organization, it is a common love of the mission that keeps everything rolling.  At NASA we are lucky to have dedicated individuals all throughout our program, from the Board members who give countless hours behind the scenes, to the coaches, the parents, the players, and high school students who carve out time from their busy schedules to foster a love of soccer in our youngest players on Saturday mornings. 

 

2023 saw a lot of growth and success within the NASA program:


  • This past spring we sent 13 travel teams, boys and girls teams from 5th grade through 12th, to the Essex County Youth Soccer Association playoffs - more than any other program in our league!  

  • In June we launched our first ever G4 Jamboree at which our 3rd and 4th grade players got to play their final games of the season under the lights on the high school varsity field.  There was music and merchandise, food trucks and free ice cream for all NASA players of any age.  Even the driving rain couldn’t take away from what a fun conclusion to the season this was.  

  • We rolled out a spring 4th Grade Skills Clinic to help prepare our 4th graders for the Travel Program.  We look forward to hosting this again in the spring of 2024 and building upon what we started. 

  • In September we welcomed our largest new group of new student referees.  On any given Saturday 30 referees and 10 mentors are out on the North Andover fields running our in-town program, ensuring our young players can compete in fun and fair games.  The NASA program would not be what it is without them!


2023 also brought a renewed commitment to giving back to our community.  NASA players, coaches, families and Board members together showed the difference we can make when we come together.


  • When several businesses in town were taken down by this summer’s floods, NASA jumped into action and the kids raised $1,600 by hosting the NASA Games For Flood Relief.  We had 150 kids show up on very short notice to make this possible! 

  • We had our first annual spring auction to benefit the NASA Financial Assistance Program to ensure any child within our community has the opportunity to play.  

  • We gave 10 college scholarships to high-achieving graduating alumni of the NASA program.  

  • We ran a successful cleat drive for Beyond Soccer Lawrence.  All of this gear will be put to good use, helping to reduce financial barriers that could prevent children from getting involved in soccer.

  • We ran a successful food drive to benefit the Lawrence YMCA Mobile Food Pantry at our NASA Night of Champions.  

And we simply had a great time!  We had a huge turnout at the Santa Parade, and this summer (when it wasn’t raining!) we had record numbers of kids show up for our free NASA Summer Pick-Up Soccer each week. Kids and parents showing up when it’s optional, when it’s just for fun, is such an exciting sign of the health of our program.  


None of this would be possible without those who help across all areas of NASA.  We are so fortunate to have a hard-working, generous, cooperative Board that is continually striving for program excellence, and that keeps kids playing the game they love - even through the worst weather season we have ever experienced! 

   

And it is with immense gratitude that we would like to give a special thank you to our coaches.  We know how busy everyday life is, and yet our coaches are out there three days a week teaching, encouraging, and taking care of the children within our program.  NASA would not be what it is without the generosity of our amazing coaches.  

We also are so incredibly grateful for the high school players who volunteer their time to coach our GK program every Saturday morning, making kids smile and teaching them just how great of a sport soccer is.  The example these young men and women set is through their commitment and energy is an inspiration not just to our littlest players, but to all of us here at NASA.  


And finally, we would like to thank you, our NASA parents.  Thank you for entrusting your children within the NASA program.  Thank you for all that you do to positively support your child’s athletic growth and to foster their love of the game.  Thank you for cheering and not criticizing.  Thank you for ensuring that NASA has the best, most encouraging sidelines in the league.  


The NASA Board is already hard at work behind the scenes gearing up for a great Spring season (register here!) and we cannot wait to see everyone back out there on the fields.


Thank you again for your time and support that helps to make NASA the great program it is. 


Happy Holidays to you and your families. 


Jen Bilodeau

NASA President

978-729-5173

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