An event with a worthy cause is taking place at Salem's Green Hill Park this weekend, using soccer to connect the Roanoke valley to the African country of Ghana.
For another year the Roanoke Star Soccer Club is hosting a youth tournament with the help of Kimoyo, a local organization promoting health and economic development in Ghana.
67 teams from four different states are participating this weekend, with boys and girls from ages 8 through 18.
"We're trying to expand it every year and get the message across," says Roanoke Star Director of Coaching Graham Maclean, " Hopefully it's going to get bigger and bigger."
While the athletes focus on the games at hand, material and financial support is gathered to help those at need an ocean away.
"We collect cleats, shin guards, old uniforms," Maclean says. "We give that back to the people in Ghana, which is a great cause."
"When we take trips over there we pack in extra soccer equipment and bring it with us and distribute it to the kids in the community over there," Kimoyo President John Merten adds. "Hundreds of kids will pour out of the class and come surround the truck and greet us and very anxious to see what we have brought them."
The tournament continues Sunday at Green Hill Park, with donations greatly appreciated.