The Kick for Nick Foundation was founded after Wilton resident and US Army infantryman Nick Madaras lost his life in an IED attack in Baquba, Iraq on Sept. 3, 2006.
An avid soccer player, coach and mentor, Nick had plans to have soccer balls shipped to him by his Mom and Dad to hand out to kids, who were playing with makeshift “soccer balls” — really, rocks — as a means to connect with them.
Nick’s dad, Bill Madaras, has kept working on the project, from collecting the first few balls shipped over to Iraq for the troops to pass out, to having shipped over 59,000 balls to over 50 countries. These balls are donated from all over America, and each ball that is sent has “PFC Nick Madaras” written on it, along with a letter explaining who Nick was and what Kick for Nick is all about.
Several dozen balls are collected every year in the net in front of the American Legion Post 86 in Wilton Center (112 Old Ridgefield Rd.), across from the Town Green. Officials welcome donations of soccer balls, as there is always room for a few more.