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Kids Doing Good: Gavin Turcotte and Mehkai Lester

Friends and avid soccer players Gavin Turcotte and Mehkai Lester, both 9, were surprised to learn that it costs money for them to play sports. They were even more shocked to hear that some area children couldn’t afford the fees – so they decided to do something about it.

The boys, along with their families, opted to hold bake sales to raise money. They decided on bake sales so the boys could be part of the process the entire way through, according to Gavin’s mom Gina Turcotte. 

Mehkai said they baked cookies, brownies, muffins and more and held the most recent sale in Gavin’s neighborhood during its annual yard sale. Gavin noted that at their first sale they sold out, so for their second sale, they knew they needed to have even more. 

Between the two sales they’ve held thus far, the boys raised $414 for YMCA of Greenville so other children could play a sport they hold so dear. Their donation helped 20 families participate in the Y’s soccer program. 

“We did it so other kids could play. It’s not fair that we can play but they can’t,” Gavin said. 

Mehkai agreed. “We like sports and others do, too,” he said. 

Despite helping those 20 families, the two Monarch Elementary students aren’t done yet. They have more bake sales planned for the fall. They hope bringing awareness to the issue will be a call to action for others in the community to help more kids be able to participate. 

Both Mehkai and Gavin hope to be professional athletes when they get older. 

Community support means financial assistance is available for YMCA of Greenville youth sports, and no family is turned away because of inability to pay. For details or to donate, visit