December 4, 2013 Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Soccer Foundation announced today that, Leighton Welch, President of Welch Capital Partners and U.S. Soccer Foundation Board of Directors member has provided a generous donation to the Foundation. The donation will support the creation of a synthetic turf soccer field at LoPresti Park in Boston, Massachusetts. Welch’s donation, which is being matched by the U.S. Soccer Foundation, will help to provide 100% of the funds necessary to build the field.
Welch’s connection to the Boston community stems from his childhood upbringing in Brookline, a nearby suburb of Boston, and his days at Harvard University where he earned both a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Masters in Business Administration. While at Harvard, he played for the varsity soccer team from 1980-1983. Staying involved with the soccer community, Welch served as head coach for the Eastchester Youth Soccer League for 12 years. In addition, Leighton served as the Co-Chair for The Friends of Harvard Soccer Board for many years and remains on the board today.
“My lifelong love of and involvement with soccer, along with a longtime interest in helping the Boston community, are at the heart of this gift,” said Mr. Welch. “The growth of soccer is one of my passions as a U.S. Soccer Foundation board member, coach and philanthropist. By expanding access to quality playing fields in American cities, we can unlock the talent and potential of our next generation of champions. I am pleased to be able to work with the Foundation and Boston officials to develop a great new venue for the kids of inner city Boston to learn about the sport and hone their skills.”
LoPresti Park was identified by U.S. Soccer Foundation local partner, America SCORES New England. The park is located in an underserved community in Boston and will allow America SCORES New England to operate Soccer for Success programming on the new field. Soccer for Success is the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s free afterschool youth development program that uses soccer as a tool to combat childhood obesity and promote healthy lifestyles in urban underserved communities. The planned field is part of a larger LoPresti Park renovation that Boston Parks Commissioner, Antonia Pollak, has commissioned to help meet the demand for safe places to play in the local community. Both Welch and the U.S. Soccer Foundation strive to provide children in underserved communities with a safe place to play the global game of soccer.
“The U.S. Soccer Foundation believes that every child should have the opportunity to enjoy the game of soccer in an environment that is safe and promotes positive development,” said Ed Foster-Simeon, president and CEO of the U.S. Soccer Foundation. “We thank Leighton for his very generous gift that will help us support organizations that harness the power of soccer to improve the well-being of children.”
About Welch Capital Partners
Welch Capital Partners is an investment management firm founded by Leighton Welch in 1996, located in New York City. Mr. Welch currently serves as President and Senior Portfolio Manager. Previously, he was employed for over five years as a Portfolio Manager with Eagle Capital Management. While at Eagle Capital, Mr. Welch managed over $120 million in assets while providing industry expertise in the healthcare, technology and business services sectors. Prior to his joining Eagle Capital, he worked as an Associate for Boston Ventures, a firm concentrating on management buyouts. Prior to that, Mr. Welch worked as an Analyst for T.A. Associates, a Boston-based venture capital firm, with interests in both private and public technology companies. Mr. Welch holds both an AB and an MBA from Harvard University.
About the U.S. Soccer Foundation
The U.S. Soccer Foundation is a recognized leader in sports-based youth development programs for children in underserved, urban communities. Since its founding in 1994, the organization has provided more than $59 million in funding to create and sustain innovative programs across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Proven to deliver positive health and social outcomes, the Foundation’s affordable initiatives offer safe environments in which both boys and girls thrive. Headquartered in Washington, D.C. the U.S. Soccer Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization. Visit www.ussoccerfoundation.org to learn more.
Editor Note: For your understanding, we are a separate entity from USSF/US/U.S. Soccer. When referring to the U.S. Soccer Foundation, please refer to it by its proper name.