Play For Keeps Foundation helps create soccer program at Kissimmee elementary school

Helayne Becerra is a teacher, but she has always loved soccer.  

She says, "I did use to play back in my good ol' days. I played in middle school and high school, and my family is from Colombia, so we are very passionate about soccer."

It wasn't just the game she loved. It was also being on a team.

She says, "We grew up as a family, the whole soccer team. We were a family."

She has always wanted to give that experience of sports and being on a team to her students at Cypress Elementary in Kissimmee, but the resources were not available until now thanks to five amazing young men who go to Windermere Prep.

Best friends Matthew Lucus, Maaz Mohiuddin, Jackson Bennett, Michael Crocetti and J.T. Rattigan created the nonprofit called the Play For Keeps Foundation.

Matthew Lucus said, "We got 20 new soccer balls, 20 pairs of shin guards and socks for the new soccer program."

Maaz Mohiuddin said, "The thing we are focused on right now is getting these kids some jerseys."

Helayne Becarra said, "It is the very first time Cypress Elementary is having a soccer team."

We first told you about the five friends last May.  

They were holding a virtual race fundraiser right in the middle of the pandemic.

They raised enough money to buy every single student at Mollie Rae Elementary" in Pine Hills a brand new pair of shoes.  

After seeing that story, the Osceola County Chamber of Commerce invited them to speak after a meeting.

Local business leaders gave them $1,000 to buy all the equipment like balls, shin guards and cones.

Sebastian Rodriguez is a student at Cypress Elementary who said, "I’m speechless. I really don't know how to say... I'm very happy. I've never been on an actual team before, a school team, so it's new, but I'm committed to it and I'm very excited.

Jazmine Arty, who is also a student said, "I'm honestly really excited about playing and winning."

Jackson Bennett, with Play For Keeps, said, "It brings joy to us. I'm sure it brings joy to them and we're just thankful to be able to do it."

Michael Crocetti said, "More than anything, it's just really rewarding, not just the kids but also for us because we get to be able to reach out and make sure these kids have a sense of community. They are building their friendships together."

These guys all play sports together and they know personally how being a part of a team can change your life forever.

J.T. Rattigan said, "It's great to have a team of people around you who support you."

Matthew Lucus said, "Playing sports and being on a team is truly something you can't replicate anywhere else. It's a bond you make with people, and you make friendships that last forever."

Helayne Beccera said, "I cannot tell the guys thank you enough."

The Play For Keeps Foundation is hoping to expand and reach more kids.

That is why it is looking for corporate sponsors.  

If you would like to donate, here is a link:   If you would like to submit a FOX 35 Care Force nomination, please email us at

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