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View other events for the week of 5/12/2008

Title: "Marciano Cruz - Most Caring Coach" Celebration
START DATE: Monday May 12
TIME: 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Location Details:
In the parking lot behind the
Resource Center for Nonviolence
515 Broadway (near Ocean) in Santa Cruz
Event Type: Party/Street Party
Contact NameScott Kennedy
Email Addresskenncruz[at]pacbell.net
Phone Number831 457 8003
Address
Marciano Cruz has been named to receive one of three national awards of the “Most Caring Coach Award” by the USA Weekend, a magazine distributed in 600 newspapers to 23 million households each week. (Watch for the article featuring Marciano in the May 11 edition of USA Weekend in the San Jose Mercury and Santa Cruz Sentinel).

Marciano is being honored for his work as founder, chief organizer and president of La Liga de La Comunidad, a countywide soccer league.

Please join us in celebration of this great honor for Resource Center staff member Marciano Cruz. For more info call: 423-1626 or 457-8003.





Added to the calendar on Friday May 9th, 2008 12:21 AM

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by Sentinel comment reposted
Monday May 12th, 2008 5:31 PM
As a coach, player, and supporter of La Liga de la Comunidad (Community League) I can honestly say Marciano "Chango" Cruz has been a precious resource for our community. I've been involved with the league for the last 8 years and counting. Our team INTERNACIONAL SC won the league's top division four years in a row (a feat yet to be repeated).

Every Monday there is a league meeting, or 'junta,' where leaders of all the teams come together to discuss the previous weekends scores and incidents. Chango is quick to condemn any violence and or racism, be it towards white, Asian, Latino, black. or otherwise. The league was started so as to create a positive alternative to gang life and violence in the community. It's expanded and now has upwards of 30 teams competing. That's over six hundred players. This has been an amazing link in the community for players who come from all walks of life. When we see each other in the street there's nothing but respect and a common bond. It has brought communities together in a positive light, especially between Salvadorians and Mexicans.

At one point a summer or two ago when there was a marked uptick in violence locally, Chango even brought in the police to our junta to discuss ways the team leaders could help spread the word to their players and supporters to calm things down and report flair ups. His concern for ALL members of the community is genuine.
by usaweekend.com
Wednesday May 14th, 2008 8:54 PM
Our judges pick the three top mentors for 2008 from a record 1,920 nominations.

Mark Rhodes, York, Pa.
Creating a healthy outlet, and hope, for inner-city students

Mike McGee, Fairfield, Maine
Teaching kids that empathy is more important than winning games

Marciano Cruz, Santa Cruz, Calif.
Using soccer and surfing to keep kids out of gangs

For nearly 20 years, Marciano Cruz has dedicated himself to guiding at-risk youths away from the world of gangs, a world with which Cruz is all too familiar. After coming to the United States from Mexico, Cruz, now 45, got involved in gang activity. After five years in prison, he decided it was his turn to give back to the community.

He set to work, organizing a team of young soccer players, all immigrants like himself, to keep them off the streets. That first team has blossomed into a year-round league through the city's Resource Center for Nonviolence, where Cruz has been a staffer for 10 years. More than 800 children and adults play on 45 to 65 teams.

Cruz also began introducing kids to surfing, his passion. With Ed Guzman, owner of a surf school, Cruz runs a free summer surf camp that provides equipment and instruction three days a week. And each young surfer is equipped with a free wet suit and surfboard -- not an inexpensive feat, but one that's made possible through fundraising, donations and Cruz's dedication to collecting used and broken equipment that he fixes up for the kids.

"He is showing the kids that they can actually make something out of themselves," Guzman says, "and if they push against the odds, they can come out on top."