PRINCETON — On Sunday, the Princeton Futbol Club paid their final respects to their teammate, Kurt Garvin, during the first annual Kurt Garvin Memorial Tournament, held at Zearing Park.
Garvin was a Princeton EMT/firefighter, board member of the Princeton Jaycees, volunteer PHS girls soccer coach, founding member of the Princeton Futbol Club and a true soccer fanatic. Garvin, 28, died in a motorcycle accident June 28.
Garvin was instrumental in organizing this Princeton Soccer Tournament this summer, recruiting teams to participate, and was planning to compete with the Princeton Futbol Club. With his passing, the tournament he was so instrumental in planning was dedicated to him.
Princeton High School varsity girls soccer coach Ed Young said, “Kurt would have loved every minute of the soccer fest today, from setting up to taking down. Kurt planted the seeds for this tournament, and it is time to nurture those seeds and watch them grow every year to be the tournament Kurt dreamed of.”
The tournament began with a memorial to Garvin by friends and family members who spoke to the crowd and provided heartwarming stories. Young and Garvin’s best friend, Andrew Whitlock, both commented on the fact that Garvin was a friend to all, and everyone he met considered him their best friend. Garvin’s father, John Garvin, thanked the crowd for coming and expressed his appreciation for the support the entire community has given his family.
Balloons were launched to commemorate Garvin’s life. The Princeton Fire Department was in attendance and had the American flag suspended from the aerial truck. The Princeton Jaycees were cooking food. It was a true show of love from all of the organizations Garvin loved.
After reading the starting lineup, which included left defensive back No. 3 Kurt Garvin, the Princeton Futbol Club played three minutes “one man down” to honor their teammate. Garvin’s jersey was then retired.
Many players and spectators were wearing shirts with Garvin’s name in a Batman logo (his favorite super hero). On the back were the words, “I Believe,” and the logos of the Princeton Futbol Club, Princeton Jaycees and Princeton Fire Department. The Peoria teams had shirts that said had Garvin’s name on the front, and on the back it said, “We’ll play every game for you!”
The tournament demonstrated teams and people will travel for opportunities to play soccer. There were teams from Iowa, Rockford, Rock Island, Peoria, plus DePue and Mendota. It was Garvin’s wish to not only have this soccer fest but also others as well.
The memory of Garvin was honored this week in many different ways, including a memorial in front of the Princeton Fire Department, bagpipes and a very ceremonial funeral and burial, a special Batman firework from the Jaycees, a lantern launch by friends and family to this soccer tournament.
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