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Bethlehem Soccer Club to celebrate anniversary

The Bethlehem Soccer Club is inviting the community to come celebrate the organization's 30th anniversary this Saturday, Oct. 17, at 1 p.m. at the Soccerplex.

Not only is 2009 a landmark for the group's founding, but it also marks the club's 15th year owning the Soccerplex. The club will be honoring about 25 people who were instrumental for the group's success, said Art Scheuermann, who sits on the club's Board of Directors.

We had a group of people who over the years spent a lot of hours and a lot of time, said Scheuermann.

The founders built the club from the ground up as the sport gained popularity in suburban areas following World War II. In 1968, Bethlehem schools adopted soccer into its sports program, and a decade later the club was formed as a not for profit entity.

Today, 2,500 children of all ages participate annually in three levels of competition in the Bethlehem Soccer Club. The club owns the Soccerplex, unusual for a club entity, and has hopes of constructing an indoor facility at the site in the future.

During the winter months, the club now rents out an area for practices and games, which sets the organization back approximately $100,000 annually.

The new facility would cost about $2 million, which Scheuermann estimated would take three to fiver years to raise. But while that future is bright, Saturday will be to recognize the people who established the roots of the flourishing organization.

"Before we do this new venture we want to recognize all the people who worked so hard," said Scheuermann. "These pioneers got us to where we are today. Now we need an equal amount of ingenuity and boldness to get us that indoor facility."

The Soccerplex"which is outdoors, so dress appropriately"is located on Wemple Road in Glenmont.

There will be free soda and hot dogs, and the club will also hold a food drive for the Bethlehem Food Pantry. Any child who donates an item will receive a coupon for a free Uniroyal soccer ball from BJ's Wholesale Club and a 60-day trial membership to BJ's.

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