St. Louis, MO – SLSG Coaches Eric Schmidt and Ren Herzog continued the club’s Upper90 Project with a mission trip to Honduras from February 25-March 5. The trip was spearheaded by Dr. Jack Eisenbeis with a medical brigade consisting of Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) specialized doctors to treat the indigenous youth.
Helped by Wilmer Garcia at the Santos Hermano Pedro Hospital in Catacamas, Honduras, Coaches Schmidt and Herzog conducted three soccer school sessions per day during their trip at the surrounding parks and schools. Each session averaged over 20 children with the largest group consisting of 50 local youth. Thanks to the generous donations of SLSG members, Coaches Schmidt and Herzog took an estimated 200 pairs of shoes, 100 pairs of socks, 100 soccer balls, 50 jerseys, and 40 pairs of shorts. The groups that trained during the camps received these donations after each clinic.
“This is a sustainable trip that we’ve committed to making twice a year—in November and March—and we’ve established a great relationship with the Catacamas area,” said Ken Godat, SLSG Director of Youth Player Development. “Sending two staff members on the trip gives us the opportunity to give back to the global community.”
Funding for the trip was made possible by in-house Upper90 fundraisers at SLSG events. The showing of the “Men in the Arena” film at the Soccer Park Ballroom generated over $3,000 for the trip. A “Juggle-a-thon” conducted by Ryan Reynolds’ SLSG team also contributed over $1,000. The restaurant take-over at Amigos restaurant in Kirkwood brought in about $800, while a clinic at Title Boxing in Brentwood generated an additional $500. A special thank you to Ryan Reynolds, Amigos restaurant, and Title Boxing for their support.
Coaches Schmidt and Herzog also returned to St. Louis with a special guest. Sponsored by Dr. Eisenbeis, they brought back 17 year-old Raul from Honduras for a week-long trip to train at SLSG and visit local colleges. It is Raul’s dream to return to America and continue his education as a student-athlete at a St. Louis area university.
During his stay, Raul trained with the U17 Academy and visited local college campuses – Meramec, Maryville, Webster, and Missouri Baptist. He enjoyed sight-seeing at local landmarks and visiting the St. Louis Zoo, eating Imo’s Pizza, and listening to the music of Nelly. He also went to the St. Louis Blues game against Anaheim on Friday night.
“I am thankful for the opportunity to come to St. Louis and train with St. Louis Scott Gallagher,” said Raul. “A special thank you to Dr. Eisenbeis, Ken [Godat], and Kip [Thompson] for letting me stay at their homes this week. I hope to return to St. Louis for college and look forward to telling everyone back home about my stay here.”