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Sioux City Westside Connection

Sioux City Westside Connection

2008-2009

By 2008, our President, Charlie Silvas, had already been volunteering in this community for over 15 years. Charlie served as Vice President of Emerson Elementary PTO for 4 years, and spent years on the basketball court supporting the YMCA basketball program. In 2008, Charlie started coaching a West Middle 6th grade girls’ basketball team with Trina Norris. The team was called West Middle Select. The response to the opportunity was more than was anticipated. What started out as a plan for one team, became a plan for two teams. There were seventeen (17) girls in the program that year. The word got out, and by 2009, there were two teams in each grade (6th, 7th, and 8th). 

2010-2013

By now, teams were forming in elementary grades. Charlie worked tirelessly with Trina Norris and Jeremy Dieterman to continue to provide this opportunity to the youth in the community. Funds were not available to support the growing numbers. Additional funds needed to be raised to support the growing program. The annual Spaghetti Dinner/Silent Auction was established. But this was not enough. Charlie and Jeremy personally paid for the uniforms, and often helped parents pay for the tournaments the girls competed in. Toward the end of this period, Charlie reached out to more people for coaching support. This is when the current board Secretary Ashley French came aboard. By now many volunteers were give numerous hours to the youth and to the program.

2013-2014

West Middle Select, led by Charlie, Jeremy and Ashley, decided to reach out to other coaches who also had established tournament teams for the youth in the Westside community. The goal was to come together and become one program. Charlie, Jeremy, and Ashley joined them, and formed a new board of directors. Registration was opened to 6th through 8th grade boys and girls. The newly formed organization now had 64 boys and 89 girls in the basketball program. A girls’ basketball tournament was added to the fund-raising efforts.

2014-2015

During this time, the board decided to appoint Charlie and Ashley to continue the work with the program. A new name was given: Sioux City Westside Connection. A new board was formed along with establishing by-laws, obtaining 501(c) 3 status, and developing a vision and a mission: “Westside Connection aspires to be an outstanding educational-athletic organization that provides a high-quality experience to every student-athlete.” During this year, with the help of West High’s coach, a newly appointed program advisor, and a host of others, a volleyball program was started. Additionally, during this year, Westside Connections joined with North High girls’ basketball to form the Metro League. All programs were now open to all youth in 3rd through 8th grade, who also attended West High feeder schools. During this year, 88 girls participated in the newly formed fall volleyball program, 99 girls participated in the basketball program, 78 boys were in the basketball program, and 89 girls joined for the spring volleyball program.

2015-2016

As participation continued to grow, it was realized that developing partnerships was crucial for the success of these programs. There was so much to be done to realize the dream of having something for every child in the community. It was during the 2014-2015 year, and during this year that Westside Connection was able to really build on the relationships that were forming with the schools, West High School coaches, and community partners. Westside Connection was now able to fund raise through concession stands, program advisors were now being led by West High School coaches, and the community was coming together in support of the program. Still, fund raising efforts had to step up to support the plan to add a football program in the fall of 2016. There were car washes, bake sales, fund raising dinners/meals, fund raising contests, fund raising tournaments, and there was the immeasurable gift of countless volunteer hours. The 2015-2016 year saw 374 registration forms to process for the programs offered.

2016-2017

This year was kicked off with a newly formed football program thanks to the diligent fund raising by all of those involved with Westside Connection. In this first year, the football program had 88 youth in grades 3rd through 6th participating. The fall volleyball program had over 120 participants. As basketball registration draws to an end, there are 97 girls registered and excited to start practice, and 132 boys registered and ready to hit the court. Rounding out the season will be the spring volleyball season. It is anticipated that at least 120 girls will be participating in spring volleyball. The focus of Sioux City Westside Connection is and always will be to provide opportunity to the youth of the Westside neighborhoods and the West High feeder schools. 2016 and beyond will see Sioux City Westside Connection fundraising and laying plans to add programs until the dream of having something for everyone is realized.

Contact

Westside Connection
Westside Connection, PO Box 3291
Sioux City, Iowa 51101

Phone: 712-253-0319
Email: [email protected]
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