Men's Soccer Raises $1,300 for TOPSoccer

Monday, May 19, 2014

Jas Chojnowski One of the many Muhlenberg athletes to graduate yesterday, John (Jas) Chojnowski was a four-year member of the men’s soccer team. He also was heavily involved in the TOPSoccer program, volunteering his time along with teammates every weekend throughout the school year.

The culminating event was held in late April, when the Mules hosted their annual clinic for the EDD Memorial Fund, named in honor of Eric Douglas Dettenrieder, a 1996 Muhlenberg graduate who died in a skiing accident in 1997.

Chojnowski wrote about his experiences:

The Muhlenberg men’s soccer team, with the help of Head Coach Sean Topping and Athletic Director Corey Goff, raised over $1,300 for the organization Lehigh Valley TOPSoccer [through the sale of old uniforms]. (In the picture, the Mules make a check presentation at the EDD clinic.)

TOPSoccer is an organization that gives intellectually disabled and handicapped individuals the opportunity to participate in an organized team sport. These individuals range in ages from toddlers to adults; although the games are not meant to be competitive, the organization emphasizes a team atmosphere meant to build camaraderie and friendship among its participants.

TOPSoccer Many of the people involved do not have the chance to participate in “normal” organized team sports and so this organization allows them the chance to be a part of a team and experience what it is like to practice and work toward a common goal.

Several of my Muhlenberg teammates and I have been fortunate enough to be involved in this wonderful organization for the past few years and it truly has been an amazing opportunity. Being around the players of TOPSoccer has been an experience that has taught me many lessons about life and how one should look at the world.

I always tell people when describing why TOPSoccer means so much to me is that when you watch one of the players score a goal, they turn it into so much more than the ball in the back of the net. In that moment they have a way of making all the ills of the world fade away and just allow for the brilliance of the moment to shine through as they smile and celebrate their accomplishment.

It has been a blessing for my teammates and I to have been able to be involved in TOPSoccer for our short time at Muhlenberg; it has demonstrated to us how fortunate we have been to be involved in college athletics and how nothing should be taken for granted. We had hoped that by raising money we could continue supporting a cause we care so much about even when we are gone – the ultimate hope being that the younger guys on the team continue on with the tradition of volunteering their time every week and that it means as much to them as it did to us.

TOPSoccer is a wonderful organization that means so much to so many people. My hope is that this small contribution demonstrates just how much our team cares and values those involved.
Click for more information: TOPSoccer | EDD Memorial Fund