A new initiative by the Mid-Isle Soccer Club will raise money for a much-needed field house and outfit players, family members and fans with stylish new club merchandise.
The online Mid-Isle Soccer Club fundraising shop launched Feb. 12. For the next few Monday nights, there will also be a physical store in one of the dressing rooms at Forrest Field.
Items in the shop include toques, headbands, car flags, travel mugs, gloves, bumper stickers and more.
Each item has a set donation price, and 100 per cent of the profits will go directly to funding a field house to store the club’s equipment.
People can donate online through www.midisleshop.com and pick up their items Monday nights at the field. Physical stores will also be set up during Mid-Isle events such as the 5-Aside Club Tournament April 11-12.
The Mid-Isle Soccer Club is getting bigger and bigger each year and now has more than 400 members, and as the club grows in numbers, it needs more equipment.
“It’s something we need and have needed for a while,” said club vice-president Mike Rankin.
The Ladysmith Festival of Lights Society has generously donated space in its building for the club to store its equipment in the offseason, with anything left over going to the garages and basements of club executive members.
“It’s been great, but we’re getting bigger, and Festival of Lights is getting bigger and better too,” said Rankin.
The soccer club’s goal is to raise $10,000 for the field house, and Rankin says they are hoping to co-fundraise with the Ladysmith Minor Football Association. The club will also look into getting government grants.
Rankin’s son David is one of two 16-year-old Ladysmith boys who created the Mid-Isle field house fundraiser website. David and his friend Jun Seo Park wanted to take the Grade 11 entrepreneurship course at Ladysmith Secondary School, but not enough students enrolled and they weren’t able to. When Christmas break came around, they were looking for a business project to work on, and they approached Rankin with the idea of the online fundraising shop. They also designed the merchandise, sourced the products, negotiated with the manufacturers and built the website.
“It was perfect timing,” said Rankin. “It was something for them to learn and build on. It was a win-win for everybody. I’m pretty impressed with the job the kids did, and we’re excited to get Mid-Isle merchandise out into the community.”
Rankin says they did such a great job that they had their second client lined up before they had even finished the Mid-Isle project.
“The other beautiful thing is they built the website for us, and we have a certain amount of merchandise, but after that runs out, we’ll still have the website,” said Rankin. “So in the fall, we’ll look at hoodies, track suits and scarves.”