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A Soccer Club Is Born

Algonquin Studios has been a Buffalo-based professional services firm providing customized IT services, software development, and business consulting since 1998. According to Tom Garigen, they donated $75-100,000 back to the community each year, and it wasn’t until Garigen came along that they started Algonquin Sports for Kids.
Garigen says that the owner of Algonquin Studios liked to donate money to the community to help with various organizations, but found it frustrating that he didn’t get to see first-hand the difference his contributions made. Garigen is a soccer expert who has played for Canisius College and who was the former associate director of coaching for the Buffalo Premier Soccer Club and the former director of coaching for the Buffalo United Soccer Club.
With a lifetime history of soccer, he was looking for some way to remain involved with soccer. After a conversation between Garigen and the owner of Algonquin Studios, and then a couple of cups of coffee later, the Buffalo Soccer Club was born. It was officially established in 2007 and ran its first clinics this past spring, bringing around 120 kids in to partake in one-day events.
This summer the club will be hosting their first house leagues and they have plenty of big plans for the future. Their main goal will be to bring kids from the East and West side into a club that provides a chance for character development. Garigen says, “We love sports and that’s what we want to do is get the kids off the streets.
However, the club plans on working closely with other organizations that service the community, providing organizations that run clinics on sickle cell anemia, AIDs, and others, a way to reach the community-at-large. The club wants to provide a chance for literacy and wellness and is already a member of the Buffalo Literary Coalition. “We want to be a hook for these organizations,” says Garigen.
Currently, Garigen is the driving for behind the club, but he explains that as the club grows, so will the permanent staff. For now though, Garigen is happy with any help that willing people can provide. Part of that help will come from the parents of the children involved with the club. The club does cost money to participate in, but in an effort to be affordable to those less fortunate, Algonquin Studios created a software program that will estimate cost in terms of volunteer hours.
Garigen says that this way, “we’re set up to run for those who can’t pay.” Trading monetary cost with volunteerism will not only help the club grow, but provide the additional people needed to run the activities the club provides. The software program is a database that will keep track of all of the volunteer hours worked, making it a unique system to the club.
Garigen has been able to use resources from the Buffalo United Soccer Club and his relationships in the soccer world to build up the Buffalo Soccer Club. Being so new, the club is still looking for members as well and trying to spread the word about its existence. To do that, Garigen has sought help from other more established clubs to help spread the word. He says, “We’re starting to go after school programs and church groups.”
If you’d like more information about the Buffalo Soccer Club, including how to sign up for programs or contact the organization, visit their website.

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