A 15-year-old footballer who attends Evangel Church will rise before sunrise this Saturday MorningJuly 23, and get ready to begin his unusual 12-hour trek to raise funds for Speed the Light, an international youth mission support group that Evangel is involved with through his denomination.
Weather permitting, Sophia Nuccio will dribble her soccer ball approximately 36 miles in exchange for donations to the cause, which can be made via a link accessible on Evangel’s Facebook page.
It will leave around 5 a.m. near the Gadsden/Jackson county line at the western end of Victory Bridge, where Chattahoochee gives way to the outskirts of Sneads. She will walk and dribble the ball to the Jackson/Washington county line. She’ll stick to US Highway 90, if possible, but she may have to take side roads along the way if the grass is too tall in places.
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She will have a support team with her, including her father, Mike Nuccio, and older sister, Amalia Nuccio. This 17-year-old brother has his own photography business and will be capturing some of the scenes from his sister’s trip.
It’s not the first time Sophia has used her sporting skills to help Speed the Light: last year on the church lawn she set up a football net and, in exchange for donations, has scored 1,000 goals in four hours. She was hoping to raise $1,000 – she raised $12,000.
She hopes to top that total, but says she’ll be happy with all the good that comes out of her day walking and dribbling that soccer ball for Speed the Light. The Youth Support Group raises money for the many different transportation needs of missionaries around the world and for the audio-visual equipment they need to spread their messages.
Nuccio plays football for Florida Elite, a city of Tallahassee travel sports club for young people. She set her fundraising goal this year after speaking with Evangel’s youth pastor, Jake Allen.
Her father, a medical assistant who ran the Tallahassee Orthopedic Clinic’s Marianna site for 15 years, is also a veteran of helping people in need around the world. He has participated in multiple medical missions and is proud of his daughter’s commitment to this cause.