After more than six years, Kick for Nick is still scoring smiles.
The effort, the idea of the late Pfc. Nick Madaras of Wilton, is simple yet significant: U.S. soldiers distribute soccer balls to children in Iraq as a sign of goodwill.
Nick Madaras, a Wilton High School graduate, thought of the idea while home on leave in July 2006, according to the Kick for Nick website. He helped build the organization until his death while serving in Iraq on Jan. 20, 2008.
And while Nick is gone and the war in Iraq has wound down, his spirit lives on through the organization's ongoing work. Nick's parents, Bill & Shalini Madaras, write on the website:
"So, if you see a ball collection basket around your town, you know it is Nick’s ammunition to create a friendly world through his love of soccer. Every ball handed out generates a smile and every smile generates a memory of good will and friendship, which one day will allow us to play on one field."
To support the effort, drop a ball in the basket in front of the American Legion building at 112 Old Ridgefield Road, or visit the organization's website.