Lakewood G.O.A.L.S. Kicks Off Its 2024 Fundraising On April 11 With Dine To Donate At Aladdin’s Eatery

Flags representing the country of origin for LHS Boys Soccer players, a tradition started by Dr. Amy Daso, is the highlight of the home opener every year.

It only takes reading a few of Dr. G’s Lakewood High School athletic recaps to see how high school sports bring us together as a community and fill us with Ranger pride.

According to Kristian Hila, LHS ’10 “The greatest strength of the LHS Boys Soccer program is our beautiful mix of cultures and life experiences that come together and create lifelong friendships and a shared love for our game and the Lakewood soccer family.”  

Current and future athletes pour their hearts into the soccer program. You might see them on their way to conditioning at 6:00 am year-round or playing at the Madison Park Futsal courts late into the night. Behind the scenes there are hours spent studying – sometimes learning English for the first time or helping teammates master chemistry and algebra. Some players work part-time to help their family pay for rent and food. Others spend hours volunteering in the community.

While differences in finances are not an insurmountable hurdle within Lakewood, they play a big part in shutting down opportunities for some of our talented athletes to play high-level club soccer. This type of training exposes players to intense competition, puts them in front of college recruiters offering scholarship opportunities, and helps them realize their fullest potential. 

Over the years, many in the community have been quietly helping make higher-level soccer training more accessible by paying for soccer cleats/uniforms, purchasing meals, or springing for extra hotel rooms. Now, with the encouragement of former LHS alumni and parent groups, the G.O.A.L.S. program has been launched. Granting Opportunity and Access for Lakewood Soccer (G.O.A.L.S.) is raising funds to provide high-level soccer training and equipment for boys from refugee and low-income families.Key to the program is creating a sense of belonging and support by removing income level as a barrier.

For me this is a personal story. Like many LHS soccer players, I came to Lakewood as an immigrant. I was 7 years old, from a single parent home and did not speak a word of English. The Lakewood soccer community was welcoming and generous. Families in our community found ways for boys like me to play for LSA and later Lakewood United. We had rides, and uniforms, and a safe, fun place to make friends and feel at home.  

Waking up at 5:30 every day for training as an LHS soccer player was intense, exhausting and an amazing environment for building great habits, learning to make good decisions, and building the best friendships.  

When I am not studying for my accelerated BSN degree you can see me on the sidelines as a Lakewood United and Lakewood City Futsal coach, and in the stands for LHS games with fellow alumni and lifelong friends cheering on each new generation of Rangers. I am grateful to be able to give back to the community that did so much for me.

I hope you will consider making a contribution either directly to G.O.A.L.S. or by enjoying a delicious, healthy meal for dine-in or take-out on April 11, 2024 at the Lakewood Aladdin’s Eatery, 14536 Detroit Ave, Lakewood, OH 44107. On that day, 10% of all proceeds will go directly to support G.O.A.L.S.

Interested in making a monetary donation? G.O.A.L.S donations can be made online at: (find us at the bottom right corner of the page) or by mailing a check to:

The Lakewood Foundation
12525 Lake Avenue
Lakewood, Ohio 44107 (please write G.O.A.L.S. in the memo line)

We are grateful to The Lakewood Foundation, a 501(c)3, for serving as the fiscal sponsor for G.O.A.L.S. and for all of the in-kind and financial support we have received in support of our mission. To learn more about G.O.A.L.S., check out our GOALS Lakewood Facebook page or email us at 

Mirsad Curri LHS ’13 is a G.O.A.L.S. Board member.

Mirsad Curri

Mirsad Curri LHS ’13 and G.O.A.L.S. Board member

Read More on Sports
Volume 20, Issue 7, Posted 4:24 PM, 04.03.2024