St. Al’s Farthing organizes soccer tournament

Published 6:12 pm Friday, May 11, 2018

One St. Aloysius student found a unique way to give back to her community. The school will host a 3-on-3 soccer tournament, organized by student Ann Elizabeth Farthing, to benefit the United Way of West Central Mississippi.

The tournament will be at Balzli Field Saturday at 10 a.m. Teams will have five players, with three on the field at any one time, and there is no age limit or requirement. Registration will also be Saturday at 10 a.m. at Balzli field, and the cost $10 per player. Proceeds will be donated to the United Way. The event is open to the public, and spectators will be encouraged to donate as well.

“I am so happy to have this opportunity to serve my community through the sport I love,” said Farthing, who plays on St. Al’s girls’ soccer team. “Thank you to United Way and my school for being so supportive through this process, and I’m looking forward to having a great time while raising money for a good cause.”

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The idea originally came to Farthing after going to a similar tournament at Millsaps College in Jackson. That event was a benefit for Millsaps’ women’s soccer team. Farthing loved the chance to hold a soccer tournament at her school, but saw an opportunity to give back as well. She worked with her soccer coach Jessie Tate and the head of the Theology department Joan Thornton to flesh out the idea.

“I was inspired by Millsaps,” Farthing said. “I brought it back to school, and I talked to our theology department about a good charity to raise money for, and they suggested United Way.”

Farthing had met Kami May, the director of marketing at United Way of West Central Mississippi, when her and other students were helping them pack meals for the community.

“I reached out to her and she was really responsive,” Farthing said. “She played soccer a lot growing up so she was really excited about, and United Way was really supportive.”

United Way was thrilled when Farthing approached them with the idea.

“It has been a true joy working alongside Ann Elizabeth Farthing. She and I share the same passions; soccer and service to others,” May said.

Michele Connelly, the executive director at United Way of West Central Mississippi, was also excited about the tournament.

“To see this program’s passion go beyond the soccer field is heartwarming, and I am honored to help them in any way possible,” Connelly said.

For Farthing, the United Way stuck out to her as a great way to help her community.

“I like (United Way’s) flexibility, how they can give to whichever organization needs it the most,” Farthing said. “I just kind of want to give them money for whatever they see fit, and they’ve done a lot of stuff through the school too so I wanted to support them.”

• Saturday, 10 a.m., at St. Aloysius
• Cost: $10 per player; admission is free for spectators
• Proceeds benefit the United Way of West Central Mississippi
• Games are 3-on-3, but teams may have five players each