Farmersville soccer league takes “Ugly” check

Fruit-company The Ugly Co. supports Farmersville Youth Soccer League with a donation to get the program the resources it needs

FARMERSVILLE – A show of appreciation for the Farmersville community has earned the city’s youth soccer league a generous donation.

The donation’s check has not been presented by The Ugly Co. just yet, but the date is set for March 26. The company’s founder Ben Moore has yet to reveal the check’s amount to keep it a surprise for the program’s organizers and kids, but he did confirm that the company exceeded the $10,000 fund goal that was set for it.

“Youth sports are really important, it’s really special for kids to have access to good community leagues and it’s good for them to get in shape and have fun, but also learn team building and leadership skills,” Moore said.

The opening ceremony starts at 9 a.m. at J. E. Hester Elementary School. It will also feature a presentation of the national anthem and Moore will make the “first kick” of a soccer ball to signify the kick-off for the soccer league.

Moore said he was motivated to make this donation after speaking with the league’s organizer Ricardo Maldonado. He met Maldonado at a city council meeting, who was trying to garner funding and resources for the program, since the league is run by volunteers and parents. He said donations were needed for just about anything, including the snack bar, the goalposts used and field maintenance.

“We really wanted to do something impactful for the community, so this was a great starting point,” Moore said.

After hearing about the challenges the youth soccer league was facing, Moore and The Ugly Co. decided to step in and get the league the funds it needs to serve Farmersville’s youth communities. The company raised the money through a silent auction at The Ugly Co.’s welcome party that was held in February. The company’s donors, investors and other associates of the company were invited to the event and present for the auction.

“It was really cool seeing the people that were there for the party step up in a big way,” Moore said. “It was really nice, like a neat community bonding experience.”

One of the most noteworthy items that earned a good bid, from Moore’s account, was a basket donated by the Farmersville Fire Department. He said it featured items like old uniforms, a helmet, patches and an axe. He said The Ugly Co. also had a custom sign made that had the company’s logo along with the city’s name on it.

The Ugly Co. is a Kingsburg-based fruit company that is dedicated to selling fruit deemed too unappealing, que the brand name of “ugly,” to be sold on shelves. Moore started the company in 2018 as a way to upcycle the ugly produce into chopped up pieces of healthy dried fruit snacks. The company’s current products include dried cherries, peaches, white nectarines, apricots and kiwis.

The business expanded into Farmersville in March 2022 by purchasing a manufacturing plant in the small town. With the plant, the company will have an easier time processing its fruit products at a high level and skill. Once the remodeling and rebuilding part of the plant is complete, it’s expected to get up and running in May, according to Moore.

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