May 27, 2024

Goal! Monsignor McCann $35K donation provides free youth soccer to YMCA

‘When two like-minded organizations partner, great things can truly happen’

Scott Taylor, Lucas Hughes and Mark Thayer pose for a picture with the Monsignor McCann Community Fund grant awarded to the Newton YMCA for the spring soccer season and the middle school sports program.

For the fourth year in a row, the Monsignor McCann Board of Directors have generously donated funds to cover all spring soccer costs at the Newton YMCA.

In addition to its contribution to the youth sports programs, the Monsignor McCann Community Fund’s (MMCF) $35,000 gift will also subsidize middle school sports programs in 2023 and 2024 and offer administrative support for the YMCA’s sports department, the organization announced in a press release.

“We are extremely grateful to have MMCF’s generosity and support,” Newton YMCA CEO Lucas Hughes said of the donation. “When two like-minded organizations partner, great things can truly happen.”

MMCF has continuously supported youth soccer at the YMCA. This spring, the YMCA gave 520 children — ages 3 to 14 — the opportunity to participate in soccer free of charge. To date, it is the largest number of participants the Newton YMCA has ever seen in its soccer program.

The middle school sport programs run throughout the year with different sports offered for fifth and sixth graders. Again, these are available at no cost to the participant. MMCF’s previous donation allowed 90 players the opportunity to play middle school sports for the 2022-2023 school year.

Coaches from Newton YMCA and Berg Middle School facilitate the program.

“Having the privilege to guarantee free programs to children in the community allows for them to learn the games, interact with peers and be physically active,” Hughes said. “We thank the MMCF Board and all other sponsors who make it possible to provide such programs.”

More than 480 kids participated in the Newton YMCA soccer league the previous year, and not a single one of them had to pay for registration. Hughes previously told Newton News that the youth in Newton are blessed to have an entity like MMCF in the community.

Mark Thayer, president of the MMCF, told Newton News in 2022 that the fund was established after the sale of McCann Village in 2018. The volunteer-drive non-profit regularly distributes money to local organizations who perform charitable work or serve the needs of poor and disadvantaged individuals.

Typically, MMCF distributes $50,000 to $70,000 every year.

MMCF has clearly taken a liking to providing youth soccer to families in Newton. For some, the financial barriers some families encounter when registering their children for sports can drive people away. Ever since MMCF began donating funds to free soccer, registrations at YMCA have significantly increased.

For more information about the Monsignor McCann Community Fund, visit Or to learn more about the Newton YMCA visit The YMCA is open 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Christopher Braunschweig

Christopher Braunschweig

Christopher Braunschweig has a strong passion for community journalism and covers city council, school board, politics and general news in Newton, Iowa and Jasper County.