Coach Saintano Damas, Manny Touron, his wife Marci, and coach Martin Garza were all smiles in Miami. (Submitted photo/Luis Cartegena)
Mr. Manny Touron has served Immokalee with the greatest intentions at heart. He has gracefully given a great deal of his time to see the residents of Immokalee reach their greatest potential. “I have seen this man unselfishly put the kids of this town first in everything he does,” said Luis Cartagena VP of Florida Community Bank. “When I first arrived to work in this town, he immediately made sure I was welcomed and became a great inspiration to me. “He is one of the most well respected, humble men I have met and those around him recognize his great leadership. He leads with Integrity and the greatest asset he has is he leads with action. I have met many great leaders in my career but the character of Manny Touron is a shining light for everyone to see,” he added. Manny Touron has led the Soccer Pit Cobras for over nine years and since the club was initiated, 17 of its members have gone on to post-secondary
Former Soccer Pit player Jesus Velasco (left), currently studying at Colgate University and recipient of the Gates Millennium Scholarship spends a little quality time with current Soccer Pit player Ives Gomez. (Submitted photos/Luis Cartegena)
education. Because of the work that Manny, along with his coaches and team moms have done, the Soccer Pit Cobras along with their leader were recognized live by the Univision Network on December 20, 2015, at Premios Deportes. “I was able to travel alongside of the team,” Mr. Cartagena said, “and what an incredible reward that was.” To see Manny Touron, The Soccer Pit and The City of Immokalee take center stage in front of 35 million viewers was breath taking. The team was able to stand alongside of some of the most respected athletes and entertainment artists in the industry. The Soccer Pit players and Manny Touron were honored in the room people like the Legendary Don King, and athletes like Evander Holyfield, Salvador Perez, Victor Espinosa, Roman Chocolatito Gonzalez and alongside of music superstars like Daddy Yankee, Luis Coronel, Farruko, Espinosa Paz and Victor Manuelle. The show was hosted by one of the greatest Telenovela stars, Julian Gil, and one of Univision’s most admired hosts, Jaqueline Bracamontes. What an experience this was and what an amazing platform this will continue being for not only The Soccer Pit but for the City of Immokalee. Here are a few of the things that the people of Immokalee had to say about Manny Touron: Manny Tourron, You are this City’s MVP- Crista Campbell. God Bless You for all you do for the children- J Hernandez. Felicidades que Dios te bendiga- Avelina Romero.
Kansas City super pitcher Salvador Perez with Luis Cartegena. (Submitted photos/Luis Cartegena)
Mr. Tourron, You are a walking testimony that those that do things without the sake of being recognized are rewarded greatly. Thanks for letting us be part of your journey, it has been an inspiration- Merari Villa. We Love You- Ricky and Audrey . Mr. Touron – When I first met you I was 5 years old and had just come from my country. You were the first to truly welcome us. We will never forget the way you treated us. I have had the pleasure of having you as my leader in middle and in high school. I’m thankful for having someone so special and unselfish like
Soccer Pit players had lots to smile about in Miami. (Submitted photos/Luis Cartegena)
you in my life. I cannot think of anyone more deserving than you. You are very much loved and appreciated- Brenda Pulido. I would like to personally thank those who also joined us and give their hearts to the club: One by One and Sinclaire Williams, On The Spot Printing Joe Boney Manuel Preciado(coach), Coach Saintano Damas, Coach Hector Barrera, Coach Mago Hernandez, Coach Marcos Lopez, Coach Ernesto Gomez, Coach Eric Leon, Coach Eruviel, Coach Martin Garza, Team Mom Gertrude Garza.
Girls are Soccer Pit players, too! Front: Maria Leon. Top row from left: Maria Rodriguez, Yanex Ramirez, Amy Montez and Yeisa Barrera. (Submitted photos/Luis Cartegena)
Coach Abel Vargas, none of this would have been possible without you.