October 25, 2012
VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR
East Islip's Pepe honored by ENYYSA
Louis Pepe has been selected as the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association's volunteer of the year.
Pepe began playing soccer at the age of five and went on to play in college.
He began his affiliation with the East Islip Soccer Club of the Long Island Junior Soccer League in 2004 when he started coaching his oldest son, Frank. He quickly immersed himself in the club, becoming a board member. He is first vice president.
Pepe is known throughout East Islip for his “Just for Kicks” soccer program, founded by him in 2008. East Islip is one of 20 LIJSL clubs that has a TOPSoccer Special Children’s Program. Fifty-five autistic kids ages 12 to 18 play for East Islip weekly during the spring and fall. Two years ago, Pepe started an affiliation with Stony Brook University, allowing students majoring in teaching children with special needs the opportunity to work with soccer instructors to improve the experience for the East Islip Special Children. He is also very active in EJ Autism Foundation fundraisers.
“Lou is the founder, the glue, the beginning, the middle and end!" said Bea Huste-Petersen, who has two children with autism that play for East Islip. "He greets every child individually as he or she arrives, provides an individual instructor and parents get to sit and watch.”
Pepe is being considered for Region 1 honors.