Lilian López Peña on Soccer and Smiles and its Inaugural Fundraiser!

March 04, 2024

Lilian López Peña on Soccer and Smiles and its Inaugural Fundraiser!

Lilian López Peña, CEO of the non-profit organization Soccer and Smiles, sees one ball as the gateway to a million opportunities. Embracing this philosophy as CEO and co-founder, she and her team strive to make a global impact through the power of soccer.

Growing up immersed in the soccer culture of the 70s and 80s alongside her father, Lilian developed a deep affection for the sport. For her, the soccer field wasn't just a playing field; it was a vibrant community where friendships were forged and stories shared. From bus drivers to bankers, painters to entrepreneurs, people from diverse backgrounds gathered every weekend over a soccer ball. As a young girl, Lilian felt valued and included in this special community, where she engaged in various activities while her father played or refereed matches.

Years later, Lilian's path intersected with that of Roberto Alvarado, a co-founder of Soccer and Smiles, whose longstanding commitment to delivering used soccer equipment to El Salvador inspired her to reconnect with her childhood soccer club. Despite never crossing paths before, Lilian and Roberto shared a mutual passion for helping others, leading them to join forces and establish Soccer and Smiles as a non-profit organization.

Formalizing their efforts with the State of California in a seven-month application process in 2023, Lilian and Roberto embarked on a mission to expand their impact. Leveraging their corporate experience and support from their network, they have provided over 1,000 pounds of equipment and nearly $3,000 in cash donations to 15 groups, benefiting hundreds of youth and directors in El Salvador. As a newly designated 501(c)(3) organization, Soccer and Smiles entered 2024 with a strategic growth plan, including the addition of Robert Cabrera to their board and initiatives such as publicity, grant applications, and gear drives.

Looking ahead, Soccer and Smiles aims to extend their reach beyond El Salvador, with invitations from Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Mexico, and Peru. Additionally, they are committed to serving underrepresented talent in the Bay Area through local initiatives.

For Lilian and the Soccer and Smiles team, every ball they give away symbolizes countless possibilities, reflecting the transformative impact that soccer has had on their lives and the lives of others.

And with this enthusiasm Lilian and team invite you to support them at the following fundraiser. 

Belmont Pub to Host Kickoff Fundraiser for Local Non-Profit

Join us on Friday, March 15, 2024, from 6:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. at Marvin Gardens Pub & Grill for an evening filled with live music, delicious food, and dancing, all for a great cause. Country music band Two Week Streak will be taking the stage, while DJ Robski spins Salsa, Cumbia, and 80s hits to keep the party going.

Marvin Gardens Pub & Grill, known for its mouthwatering pizza and diverse menu, has been a beloved gathering spot for locals for decades. Now, they're opening their doors to pub and grill fans near and far for a night of fun in support of a startup non-profit organization, Soccer and Smiles.

This event isn't just about having a good time—it's about making a difference. Proceeds from the night will directly benefit Soccer and Smiles, a non-profit dedicated to bringing the joy of soccer to communities in need. Representatives from Soccer and Smiles will be onsite to collect donated soccer equipment such as cleats, balls, shin guards, and more.

Don't miss out on this special occasion to enjoy great music, food, and company while supporting a worthy cause. Mark your calendars for:

WHEN: Friday, March 15, 2024
TIME: 6:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.
WHERE: Marvin Gardens Pub and Grill, 1160 Old County Road, Belmont, CA 94002

Let's kick off Soccer and Smiles' fundraising efforts with a night to remember. See you there!

About Two Week Streak
Two Week Streak plays modern Country music with some classics, all around the San Francisco Bay Area, to keep your boots moving! Five voices and three multi-instrumentalists, including pedal steel, make a great night out. Follow on Facebook and Instagram: @twoweekstreak

About Marvin Gardens Pub and Grill
Marvin Gardens is a local restaurant established in Belmont, CA, in 1973. Specializing in craft beers and drinks, they boast unique homemade pizzas with in house dough made fresh daily. They provide catering to the Peninsula and greater Bay Area, while also using their space to host live music by some of the best
local bands.

About Soccer and Smiles
The mission is to provide basic soccer equipment to help youth thrive in the sport and in life. Soccer and Smiles is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, led by volunteers with a love for fútbol and a passion for community.

Lilian López Peña | Call/Text 415-559-1553 |

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