Lincoln-Way East soccer player surprised with laptop at practice
Tuesday, October 11, 2016

On Wednesday, October 5, 2016 Liam Elsden, a senior at Lincoln-Way East High School, arrived at the stadium entrance for soccer practice. He believed he would attend a regularly-scheduled practice, but was surprised with a special presentation by his teammates, friends, mom, and sister. Elsden was presented with a Hewlett-Packard laptop to honor his efforts in giving back to the community.

On the nomination form, Coach Ryan Decker had written, "Liam is a role model for our students. He has a younger sister who is a special needs student and is regularly participating in Lincoln-Way Special Recreation events. Liam puts her first when it comes to supporting his sister’s activities, ensuring she is happy all the time. He volunteers countless hours with special needs children."

This surprise presentation was part of the “Making A Difference On AND Off The Field” campaign presented by Buddy’s HELPERS and the PepsiCo Showdown.

Buddy’s HELPERS is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit uniting Chicago-area high school student-athletes and teachers/coaches in an annual community service campaign built around “Making A Difference On AND Off The Field.” The campaign has engaged hundreds of high schools and thousands of Chicago-area students through the PepsiCo Showdown--the largest high school soccer tournament in the U.S. In 2016, there are 216 high schools and more than 21,500 student-athletes part of the overall program.