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Ripon girl helps spur charity tourney

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Ripon girl helps spur charity tourney

Riley Simmons during her chemo treatment last year.

Photo contributed/


POSTED January 16, 2014 1:31 a.m.

The Manteca Futbol Club and director Manuel Pires have put together a good thing.

On Feb. 1, the Manteca FC will be putting on the 2nd Annual Riley Simmons 6v6 Charitable Shootout at Woodward Park.

Last year, the 6-on-6 fundraiser raised $5,600 alone, which was all donated to the Riley family, who used the money toward their daughter’s medical expenses and weekly trips and treatments at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center.

 Through other forms of donations, raffles and snack bars, the Riley family ended up receiving roughly $10,000 on behalf of the Manteca FC.

Currently, Simmons is recovering well and scheduled to receive her final chemo treatment this month.

“Riley was part of our club,” said Pires. “She had (brain) cancer and had to have surgery done, so we came up with the idea of the fundraiser to try and help. We got about 30 teams last year, and with other donations from the local community, it was a great success.”

This year’s event will benefit a pair of local families who are both experiencing medical misfortunes with their young loved ones. The first is 10-year old fifth grader Destiny Herrera, who was diagnosed with ostepsarcoma (bone cancer) – and the other family has chose to remain anonymous.

“This year the club is in the situation where we’d like to donate all of the money to the families that we selected,” Pires said. “Destiny Herrera is the same age as Riley Simmons. She was a very a good dancer and was part of a local dance group. She didn’t play club soccer, but she is someone that we found could use some help – so we’re going to help the family.”

This year’s 6-on-6 youth tournament will consist of teams 8-and-under through 14-and-under with a maximum of 10 players per team. The cost of registration is $200 per group.

Each team will be guaranteed at least three games with a maximum of five. The games will consist of two 15-minute halves with more lenient rules such as no off-sides.

“It’s a one-day event, and anybody who wants to put a group of kids together are welcomed to,” Pires said. “It’s basically 5-on-5 with a goalkeeper. There will be a lot of scoring opportunities.”

Teams with players that do not have player cards will have to show a birth certificate in order to prove age. Complete rules and medical release waivers can be downloaded for print at www.mantecafc.org – as well as to register and e-mail your team’s information.

“We want to make it fun for the kids in the area that are participating,” Pires concluded. “We had such good success from this event last year, it was a good idea that we picked it up to help the (Simmons) family out.

“Riley is doing well and will probably be coming out there if she feels healthy enough. This (tournament) was named after her, so that’s how we’re going to keep it.”

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