Those residents wanting to honor the life of Stanislaus County Deputy Dennis Wallace and build his legacy in the community have a new option thanks to the Stanislaus Community Foundation.
The Foundation has established the Deputy Dennis Wallace Kids Soccer Fund in memory of the deputy that devoted so much of his time to helping the area's youth. Wallace, a member of the sheriff's department since 1997, was killed in the line of duty on Nov. 13.
Wallace's care for children began with his 30 nieces and nephews that he and his wife Mercedes helped care for over the years, mentored, coached and took on Disneyland trips. He also spent many years as the D.A.R.E. officer for the sheriff's department and showed a passion for the children he met that lasted through the years.
Outside of work, Wallace became a youth soccer coach and was instrumental in forming a youth league for Hughson.
"It is Deputy Wallace's extensive efforts to find positive pathways for struggling kids through sports - especially soccer - that changed the lives of many," said Stanislaus Community Foundation spokesperson Jessica Irish in a news release.
The Deputy Dennis Wallace Kids Soccer Fund will provide, on an annual basis, grants to local soccer associations to purchase soccer kits, including uniforms, cleats, shin-guards and soccer balls. The fund will also provide soccer registration scholarships, allowing low-income kids to pursue the sport at no cost.
"Dennis loved his involvement with the kids and soccer. He was always so excited at the beginning of every season when he'd see how the number of sign ups continued to grow," said Mercedes Wallace.
The Fund has been established at Stanislaus Community Foundation with a match challenge by Ambeck Mortgage, the longtime employer of Mercedes Wallace. Ambeck Mortgage will match every dollar raised up to $50,000.
To make an online tax-deductible contribution to the Deputy Dennis Wallace Kids Soccer Fund, visit www.stanislauscf.org/donate/deputywallace.
People may also mail contributions to: Deputy Dennis Wallace Kids Soccer Fund c/o Stanislaus Community Foundation, 1029 16th St., Modesto, CA 95354.