It has been awhile since John Barata, the general manager of the Real Boston Rams soccer club of the Premier Development League, played soccer in Newtown.
But he's never forgotten.
"It is a very close connection," Barata said Monday. "I spent seven to eight years of my life on the fields there."
The former Immaculate High School and Assumption College standout is hoping to return some of that kindness.
On June 18, Barata's PDL club team will join the New England Revolution of the MLS, the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League and the Newtown Pride of the Connecticut Soccer League to take part in a soccer doubleheader at Veterans Memorial Stadium in New Britain for the Newtown Parent Connection.
"Ever since the events of last winter in Newtown, we wanted to do something," New England Revolution president Brian Bilello said. "We're really excited and proud to be part of this event."
The doubleheader, which starts at 6 p.m., will pit the Revolution against Barata's Rams in the first game, and then the Cosmos against the Newtown Pride.
All the proceeds from ticket sales and a silent auction will go toward the Newtown Parent Connection, which is hoping to finance a wellness, prevention and recovery support infrastructure for the Newtown community. The NPC has been working with those affected by the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14.
"The town is in the healing process and it is important that we continue to educate and embrace all the families and this will help us to do that," NPC co-founder and co-president Dorrie Carolan said.
Newtown already has held two successful soccer events, which included a soccer night in Newtown this winter.
"One of the first responders came into my room that day and started to cry," Carolan said. "He said, 'This the first time I had a smile on my face [since the shootings].' "
Tickets are $13 before June 11, and $15 at the gate.
"We just want to continue to do more for the town through the sport we love," Newtown Pride player-manager Matt Svanda said.Copyright © 2015, CT Now