When the pandemic hit last winter, Northfield Soccer Association (NSA) was busy gearing up for its spring season. In fact, many players had been training in the Dundas Dome for months. When the Minnesota Youth Soccer League cancelled its season, NSA was unable to offer its traveling soccer programs. Cancelling a season was new territory for the organization, and like many nonprofits, NSA took a huge financial hit.

Last spring, the NSA Board of Directors sent approximately $70,000 in registration fee refunds to soccer families. Due to the seasonal nature of soccer, the association sees large spikes in both revenue and expenses during the course of its fiscal year. And one factor that makes this all possible is the healthy financial cushion that previous leaders helped build. Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic has depleted that cushion.

While Northfield Soccer Association is on the brink of organizational viability, the local high school soccer programs are thriving. Many players who first learn soccer through NSA — often starting at four or five years old — go on to play for Northfield High School. This fall, the Raider boys won the Section 1AA championship and posted a record of 12-1-1. The Raider girls made it to the Section 1AA semifinals.

When varsity players heard that NSA is planning to participate in Give to the Max Day (GTMD20) to raise funds needed to operate and pay staff, they stepped up. Senior defender Peder Lindell offered to shoot and edit a fundraising video that NSA will use to promote its GTMD20 campaign. Give to the Max Day was created in 2009 to launch GiveMN, a collaborative venture led by Minnesota Community Foundation and many other organizations committed to helping make our state a better place.

For 35 years, the Northfield Soccer Association has offered programs for 500 kids ages 4–19 each year. NSA is grateful to have recently received a CARES Act grant through the City of Northfield and a generous grant from Northfield SHARES. The organization would also like to thank individual donors and recent business sponsors, including Schieck Orthodontics, Schmidt Homes, and Merchants Bank.

Businesses interested in sponsorship opportunities with NSA — including field sign sponsorships at Spring Creek Park — may reach out to treasurer@northfieldsoccer.org. Individuals who would like to support NSA on November 19 are encouraged to visit GiveMN.

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