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TOPS Sports Wilmington Fundraiser Giving Away $10,000

Tickets are available for $100 apiece, and the other half of the proceeds will go to support BeyondTOPS.

BeyondTOPS, a Wilmington organization giving children with special needs the opportunity to play youth sports, is holding a fundraiser this spring. And by supporting the program, you could help your own wallet as well.

The group is selling 200 raffle tickets that cost $100 apiece. The owner of the winning raffle ticket will be awarded $10,000, while the remaining funds will be used for operating expenses the league.

The TOPsoccer program began 15 years ago when it was started by Ed Celli, a board member for Wilmington Youth Soccer.

There are currently 125 players between the ages of 3 and 18 who come to Wilmington from more than 20 surrounding communities. Players have varying special needs such as physical, intellectual, emotional and social.

A group of 150 volunteer coaches, many of whom are Wilmington Middle School and Wilmington High School students, help run the program every Saturday for about 10 months of the year.

In 2012, the program was renamed BeyondTOPS, and under the non-profit tag organizers can better dedicate and organize resources needed to support the program.

BeyondTOPS gives back to the community that supports it as well. Last year BeyondTOPS awarded six scholarships to graduating seniors that totaled $5,000 to recognize the volunteer hours they put in.

Raffle proceeds will be split evenly between the winner of the contest, who will receive $10,000, and the organization, which will use the other $10,000 to run the league.

To purchase a ticket, residents can contact Dana Goulet by telephone at (978) 658-1767 or by email at gordongroup2@verizon.net.

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