As part of our Community Spotlight series, we profiled Andrew Mehalko and the West Palm Beach Football Club of which he is a founder. The West Palm Beach Football Club is a non-profit club that is open to everyone and is focused on identifying youth who are unable to afford the expenses often associated with travel soccer programs.
Last summer, following the tryouts for the team’s first season, local ABC affiliate, WPBF, interviewed Mehalko about how the organization got its start and what he and his partners hope to accomplish. At the time, Mehalko was aiming to raise $100,000 by the start of 2018. Now, on the first anniversary of the club’s founding, WPBF did a follow-up story with Mehalko and co-founder and coach Frantz Francois.
Mehalko reported a successful first season. The team played in many games and tournaments across the state and as a result, have improved their skills and developed a love for the game. College coaches have even expressed an interest in some of the players, opening up a path to college to which many of the kids wouldn’t otherwise have access.
“It goes much beyond just learning to play,” says Mehalko. “It’s the life lessons of teamwork and challenges and creating a path for these kids later on to go to college. That’s really the objective, much beyond the field.”
Having met his original goal, now Mehalko and his team have set their sights on raising $150,000 in their second season in order to reach more kids and to cover operating costs like insurance, supplies and uniforms, league and registration fees, facilities, referee expenses, and coaches’ compensation.
To learn more about Mehalko’s involvement with West Palm Beach FC, see his interview in the Palm Beach Post.