573 Magazine is a big supporter of getting out, getting motivated, staying positive and being active. Staying motivated and active while keeping a positive attitude is the key to living one’s best life which is why our #1 motto is GET OUT THERE! Recently we found an amazing group of people who truly live by this credo.
The Perryville Optimist Club is a non-profit organization of volunteers and sponsors. Among other things, these local heroes work hard to provide a place and an opportunity for the youth of Perryville and the surrounding areas to come and experience the camaraderie of team sports and keep up a healthy active lifestyle by playing soccer. Parents on the board have raised over a million and a half dollars over the years.
It’s really just everyone coming together giving their time and really being passionate about soccer in Perryville.
We met up with Amanda Winschel out at the Bank of Missouri Soccer Complex in Perryville to get the 411.
League and Tournament Director at the Perryville Optimist Soccer League, Amanda Winschel is a hard worker and one of the biggest supporters of Perryville soccer. Once a soccer player herself, she understands the importance of getting out there and staying fit and healthy, and believes that the opportunities provided by the club help their youth to live healthier, more active, and well rounded lives helping them grow in all areas of their life.
573: Tell us about yourself.
My name is Amanda Winschel. I’m the League and Tournament Director here at the Perryville Optimist Soccer League. I’ve lived in Perry County most of my adult life. I have two boys that have played in the recreation league since Pre-K. I myself played soccer growing up. That’s where my passion comes from.
573: Tell us about the Perryville Optimist Soccer League.
Perryville Optimist Soccer League hosts several events throughout the year, and also within our season through our tournaments and concession stand, to raise the funds needed to support our Optimist Soccer League every year. During our tournaments and our regular season we raise approximately $50,000 which gets put right back into our complex providing all of the things needed like getting our fields taken care of and our signage available and just providing that opportunity for area soccer leagues to come play soccer.
573: Tell us about all the heroes behind all of this.
A lot of our business leaders in the community come to our committee. We are all volunteers. We are able to donate our time during our fundraising events making sure our seasons and our tournaments all run successfully. It’s really just everyone coming together giving their time and really being passionate about soccer in Perryville. The Optimist Club actually has about 20 members. We do a lot of other things besides soccer but really our biggest committee and our biggest time commitment right now is the Soccer League. We have a committee of about 12 people that meet monthly, come up with ideas, problem solve, and just work through everything that we can to better our soccer program at our complex.
We have multiple businesses throughout Perryville and Perry County that contribute to that. We have field sponsors. We have a complex sponsor, and we also make sure that we have volunteers who donate their time to mow the fields, and maintain them. We come out here and make sure to have worker days, and we just really put pride into our complex. Our great partner at the City of Perryville provides a lot of assistance as well to make sure that this is always a very presentable place for the area soccer leagues.
This 573 Story is Sponsored by The City of Perryville and Bank of Missouri!
We want to make sure that they are staying active and having healthy lifestyles, and I think that this is just another opportunity for them to do that.
We really feel like the local recreational soccer league is really important for our kids because not only are they able to learn how to be part of a team, but they also have coaches and mentors that are there to help them throughout life. This also provides them with another opportunity to stay active. We want to make sure that they are staying active and having healthy lifestyles, and I think that this is just another opportunity for them to do that.
573: Tell us about your upcoming tournament.
The Spring Classic that we’re getting ready to host is held every single Mother’s Day weekend. This year it'll be held May 6th, 7th, and 8th. It brings about 93 teams from all over the region. From Poplar Bluff to St. Louis, and even some from Southern Illinois. The great thing about bringing them in here and showcasing Perryville and Perry County is that they’re coming here and staying in our hotels. They’re staying at our campgrounds, they’re eating here locally, and getting gas here locally. The economic benefit of this to Perryville and Perry County is huge, and we really like to help the area capitalize on that.
This is going to be a very large project for our group.
573: Tell us about the renovation going on by the concession stand.
This spring the committee has really put their heads together to come up with some good partners to be able to provide a whole renovation project to our presentation area. The presentation area here at the Bank of Missouri Soccer Complex is the location where we are able to host beautiful landscaping for the area teams to come and represent their communities, accept their awards there, take pictures there, and just be able to have a beautiful place to be.
This is going to be a very large project for our group. We partnered with the city of Perryville to redo all of our presentation area with a new landscaping project. This is going to be the Tom Tomlinson Presentation Area which we’re super proud of because he was one of the founders of the Perryville Soccer League.
573: What do you hope to see in the future?
We’re always looking to improve. We have a wish list of items that we would always like to be able to provide. So our next step is to continue to provide more and more opportunities for kids to play soccer, not just locally but regionally. We have one of the best soccer complexes from St. Louis to Memphis that has real grass. Making sure that we’re bringing people into our community, showcasing Perryville and Perry County, is definitely something that’s on our radar for the future.
Be sure to join us in Perryville this weekend to check out The Spring Classic. You won’t want to miss it! And remember to stay active and be optimistic.
GET OUT THERE!