St. Luke’s Soccer Tournament Supports NECC


Bearcat Army

The winning team from last year features (left to right) William Burke ’22, Peter Kallos ’22, Lydia Bullock ’22, Chayce Skenderis ’23, Fati Salifu ’22, Carlos Martinez ’22, and Justin DiCarlo ’22.

Riding on the success of the Polar Plunge fundraiser, which raised $1450 and boasted about 120 participants, St. Luke’s Society, the school’s community service club, is now shifting gears to prepare for its annual soccer tournament on April 25.  

For over five years, St. Luke’s has held the soccer tournament to raise money for the Northeastern Community Center (NECC) in nearby Millerton, NY. Past fundraising efforts have supported the NECC’s youth group initiatives, including providing new sports equipment for after-school groups in Millerton. During a non-pandemic year, weekend trips to Millerton are an important part of the student experience; therefore, St. Luke’s is giving back to the town. NECC provides food pantries, childcare and other family resources, and transportation to pharmacies, food, and emergency supply outlets.

Members of St. Luke’s have donated food and enabled NECC’s youth leadership programs to thrive through partnerships including ESL classes, a weekly mentorship program at Webutuck School for younger students in partnership with affinity groups Café and MoCaH, and pie-baking and swimming events with teens. Mrs. Caroline Kenny-Burchfield, the faculty advisor for St. Luke’s, said, “[Donating] one year here and one year there doesn’t really [make a significant difference]. We want to build a relationship and let them know that we’re here.” 

Board members Rachel Mokriski ’21 and Billy Meneses ’22 will be leading this year’s soccer tournament with Mrs. Burchfield. While St. Luke’s usually holds the tournament in Fowle Gym on a Wednesday night, the challenges of providing adequate ventilation given COVID-19 protocols has forced them to change location. St. Luke’s plans to relocate the tournament to Sprole Field. Meneses said, “Having [the game] under the lights creates a nice atmosphere, and I think that will help raise a lot of money. People like excuses to get together and play with their friends.” 

Last year, the tournament raised $262.38, and organizers believe that this year they will surpass that amount. Lydia Bullock ’22, said “Even though my team won the St Luke’s soccer tournament last year, it wasn’t the victory that I remember most but the excitement, camaraderie and overall rowdiness of my teammates and the spectators. This event is yet another example of how the Hotchkiss community comes together to support each other and have fun.”

Starting April 19, the club will send out a sign-up sheet for teams.