New Jersey Youth Soccer recently hosted its 32nd Annual NJYS Awards Dinner Presented by RWJBarnabas Health, where many players, coaches and members of the soccer community were celebrated at the Pines Manor in Edison, N.J. One of the honorees that night was Ray Popdan, who was presented with the NJYS Distinguished Service Award.
“I would like to thank NJYS President Evelyn Gill and the Board of Directors for this recognition,” said Popdan. “It has been my pleasure to serve on various committees within the organization for the past 30-some years. The individuals, including players, that I have met has been gratifying to me. NJYS has set a high standard for other States to follow, whether it be administrative or in Regional and National competition. I want to send my best regards to those who are now serving in NJYS and to those who will come later. I also want to wish NJYS continue success.”
A 2000 inductee into the NJ Youth Soccer Hall of Fame, Ray Popdan has provided his time and expertise to the benefit of countless players, coaches and clubs during his career. He began his service on the NJYS Board of Directors more than 30 years ago, and he has served under six NJYS Presidents while also maintaining his role as the President of Gloucester County Youth Soccer.
“Ray’s volunteerism embodies the true spirit of NJ Youth Soccer,” said Evelyn Gill, NJYS President. “His selfless contributions over the years created the foundation for so many successful programs and initiatives. We are forever grateful.”
While he has announced his intent to step down at the end of the current season, Popdan still continues to give to the game by serving as the chairman of the NJYS Discipline & Appeals Committee. Throughout the years, he has worked on many different committees for NJ Youth Soccer, and it is hard to imagine someone giving more to youth soccer in the state than Popdan has.