Friends, family play Memorial Day soccer in honor of fallen soldier

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WILTON -

Amid parades and barbecues, one group gathered to remember one particular soldier on Memorial Day.

Friends, family and the Kick for Nick Foundation honored the late Nick Madaras with a friendly -- but competitive -- game of soccer at Kristine Lilly Field. Madaras was killed in battle in Iraq.

Soccer was Madaras' favorite sport, so his teammates and friends come together every Memorial Day to play a game. Madaras' last wish, according to Tom Thresher of the Kick for Nick Foundation, was for soccer balls to be sent to children in Iraq.

Since his passing, 53,000 soccer balls have been donated to over 50 countries around the world in Nick's name. More recently, the foundation has begun to expand its message in Fairfield County with the Kick for Nick Academy of Bridgeport. The academy ensures that children have access to the sport and professional coaching.

"This was his dream -- soccer for everyone," Thresher says.

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