Dear NGS Family:

It seems more appropriate to end a soccer season with a “thank you” than to start a season with one, but I’d like to make an exception today.

As our our first games loom on Saturday, I need to say how incredibly grateful all of us at Newton Girls Soccer are to the following groups of people who have pitched in recently on a number of very important projects.

Move-In Day Volunteers: This fantastic crew made possible the move from our old storage space in the attic of Brigham House to our new drive-up, climate-controlled space at EZ Storage on Needham Street – which is now making it exponentially easier for our volunteers to access needed NGS supplies and equipment. Bruce McVittie, our terrific Equipment Committee chair, supervised the move, and almost a dozen volunteers came with minivans and pickup trucks to help the effort.

Sandbag Saturday Volunteers: This weekend, almost 20 volunteers – including several parent/kid combos – pitched in to help with Sandbag Saturday and fulfill our promise to the city to make our goals safer. Steve Liftman, one half of the dynamic duo responsible for constructing our new goals, had budgeted 4 hours for the effort, which involved filling 240 sandbags with almost 5 tons of sand. Thanks to our stellar volunteer turnout, we finished filling and securing the sandbags in a little over two hours.

“Call for Volunteers” Responders: When I put out my call for volunteers a little while ago, I didn’t really know what to expect. The response was and is hugely gratifying. 16 people stepped up and volunteered their talents in a number of areas. One, a writer, is researching and writing a history of NGS to post on our new website. Two attorneys are helping us draft a conflict-of-interest policy to make sure NGS is as transparent as it can be. A couple more folks have joined our new Communications and Marketing committee to help spread the good word about NGS. We are in the process of finding a rewarding and productive job for everyone who stepped forward.

I don’t know about you, but to me this all shows how much people really care about Newton Girls Soccer and the special things we stand for.

But of course we’re not done. We’ve got a long way to go to fill our need for talented, caring people, including some urgent and current openings that include:

Equipment Committee Co-chair – Are you an apparel buyer by trade? Have experience in retail or sales? We need a co-chair who can help us deal with suppliers, plan for our future uniform and equipment needs, and make sure all players in our programs are outfitted with quality kits at an affordable price.

Volunteer Committee Co-chairs – Good with people? Have experience in PR? We need people to run this new committee, which will help recruit volunteers and match them with jobs that fit their skills and interests. This committee will also keep a list of people who only have the time to volunteer once in a while, perhaps for an event, and will help staff events like our Intramural Jamborees.

Events and Tournaments Committee Chairs – Do you have experience running charity galas? Road races? We need chairs for this committee, which will work with the Board of Directors and our program coordinators to help make events like our Intramural Jamborees and NGS Night at the Breakers truly memorable for our girls. And should the Board decide at some point in the future to bring back an NGS tournament, this committee will help plan it.

Joint Fields Committee Co-chair – I can’t do this job anymore and be president at the same time. This person works with a counterpart in Newton Youth Soccer making sure our fields are safe and playable and with the NGS/NYS Fields Scheduler to make sure our games are properly scheduled.

Communication and Marketing Committee Members – We’re looking for a few good people who know their way around WordPress and maybe have some experience in design to help Chair Burt Glass maintain and update our fantastic new website. This committee will also work on NGS-logo merchandise that we will be making available for sale in the future.

If you are interested in any of these positions or, again, just generally interested in exploring how you might help, please fill out our volunteer form.

If you’ve already filled out the form, thank you. We’re working our way through the list and will be in contact with you shortly.

And of course thank you to our current volunteer officers, board members, and committee members, our fantastic volunteer coaches, and the many other parents who pitch in and help by putting out e-mails, bringing snacks, driving carpools and just generally being supportive for the girls.

OK. Now let’s go play some soccer …

Ralph Ranalli, NGS President