By Michelle Spitzer
The late founders of Parkland Soccer are being honored for decades of commitment to the youth program they started.
Pete Gado passed away in 2020, and his wife Linda died one year later.
A Pine Tree resident since the 80s, Pete started the Parkland Soccer Club in 1987 in a cow pasture with a small group of children who wanted to play the sport. The club has grown to include more than 1,400 players.
Pete and Linda created a volunteer Board of Directors to run the league while remaining involved and promoting safety and sportsmanship.
A part of Parkland’s history, Pete was one of the first appointments to the newly formed Parks and Recreation Advisory Board in 1990.
In 2018 the Parkland Soccer Club held its annual picnic at the Equestrian Center and honored Pete and Linda for 30 years of service.
In an interview with Parkland Soccer President Doug Cole, he said in the early days, Pete would cut the grass, line the fields, and position cars with their headlights on for night games.
“He did so much for the kids and the city of Parkland.”
A Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy until he retired, Pete continued to run the soccer club after he and Linda moved to Tennessee.
The late couple will be recognized on Saturday, March 12, at Pine Trails Park Amphitheater, 10555 Trails End. The event, which runs from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., includes the dedication of a new park bench, tree planting, and placing a commemorative plaque to recognize their years of service.
Gado family members will also be on hand to meet community members and hear stories about the couple.
According to a statement from the Parkland Soccer Club, “We have lost the pioneers and founders of Parkland Soccer, and they are truly missed, yet their legacy lives on.”
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- Michelle Spitzer grew up in Coral Springs, attending Westchester Elementary, Ramblewood Middle, and J.P. Taravella High. She attended the University of Florida and has been a journalist for nearly two decades. As a reporter and editor for The Associated Press and USA Today, she’s covered everything from U.S. Presidents to shuttle launches to Jamie Foxx’s New Year’s Eve party.
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