Summer soccer camp celebrates neighborhood kids

We Care Soccer Camp wraps up 23rd consecutive clinic in Fishtown

MELISSA KOMAR / STAR PHOTO

By Melissa Komar

Hetzel Field was filled with kids sporting grey T-shirts, eating rainbow-flavored water ice and lugging new soccer balls under their arms as they exited the side gate on Friday.

We Care Soccer Camp had just wrapped up its 23rd consecutive year thanks to Fishtown native Pat Cain Sr.

MELISSA KOMAR / STAR PHOTO

Cain started the camp in summer 1994 with 50 soccer balls and 50 T-shirts donated from a local fireman, Stan “The Cutman” Maliszewski, because “there was nothing around for the kids to do during the summer.”

MELISSA KOMAR / STAR PHOTO

Now, more than 100 kids are served during the free, week-long clinic.

Lunch is provided each day, and instructors are soccer players from local high schools.

“This is great for the older kids who went to camp here,” Cain said. “They come back and help with the younger kids.”

Local businesses donate the food, T-shirts, water ice and soccer balls.

MELISSA KOMAR / STAR PHOTO

“The community is great to the camp,” Cain said. “And it’s all about the kids.”