The Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association is honoring longtime Long Island Junior Soccer League volunteer Carlos Ospina as its Personality of the Month for October for his long-tim volunteer work related to the fight against breast cancer.
After joining Esteé Lauder’s Melville office 20 years ago, where he serves as Director of Manufacturing Engineering, Ospina became involved with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, founded by Evelyn Lauder.
In 2002, he started the Pink Ribbon Soccer Festival. The festival initially featured adult coed teams from Esteé Lauder’s offices in New York and Pennsylvania playing on the third Sunday in August at the Peter Collins Soccer Park in Plainview. In recent years, girl’s teams from Long Island Junior have also participated. Under Ospina’s leadership, the Pink Ribbon Soccer Festival has raised $30,000 for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
”We started when a co-worker, Rich Sommers and I proposed to Esteé Lauder a new way to raise money and awareness for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation,” Ospina said. ”Our company is always looking for ways to get employees involved.”
The two men met with Mike Clarke at Collins Soccer Park and developed the annual event.
“Each year, the response from the LIJSL, the coaches and parents has been incredible. This could not have been possible without the help of Mike, his staff, the LIJSL and the Long Island Soccer Referees Association, whose refs have been volunteering with us for years,” Ospina said.
In acknowledgement of Estée Lauder’s slogan of “Everything Counts,” the Lynbrook resident along with seven other employees noted for their charity work rang the bell at the New York Stock Exchange on October 1, 2015.
Ospina is also involved with youth soccer as a longtime coach in the Lynbrook/East Rockaway Soccer Club. Along with Richard Ford, Ospina coached the Lynbrook/East Rockaway Lizards (with his daughter Natalie on the team), taking them from an intramural team in 2003 to a LIJSL travel team until the girls graduated from high school this past June. The Lizards won the LIJSL Sportsmanship Award four times, were division champions several times, won the Oceanside Bob Schrager Memorial Tournament and were Long Island Cup champs in 2015.
Ospina has also been coaching the Lynbrook/East Rockaway Landsharks since 2010, which currently competes in the LIJSL Boys U-17 Division 1. His son Sebastian plays on the team.