Members of the TSSA Staff and Board of Directors attended the funeral and celebration of life for Cleveland Grimes this past Monday in Chattanooga. If you knew Cleveland you knew what a man of integrity and high moral character he was. He was part of TSSA for 18 years.
Below is an excerpt of the speech TSSA President, Todd Lockhart, shared with the hundreds of people in attendance to honor Cleveland.
"TN Soccer is saddened to have lost one of its most valued members and board member, Cleveland Grimes. On behalf TN Soccer, its Board of Directors, the Staff and all members of TN Soccer, I offer our sincerest condolences to the Grimes family.
Cleveland was a founding member of the North River Soccer Association in Chattanooga. His passion was for recreational youth soccer. His soccer involvement as a parent, coach and administrator, helped build a foundation for all levels of youth soccer in Chattanooga. Cleveland epitomized what it meant to be a "True Volunteer", someone who gives of their time and/or money with absolutely NO expectation of receiving anything in return. He never sought recognition or praise, only to promote youth soccer. He was a tireless volunteer who always, always placed the needs of the youth first. His positive "can-do" attitude was infectious to those of us who worked with him.
Cleveland was elected as the TN Soccer's Southeastern District Director in 1998. During his term and with his leadership, the Southeastern District established itself as a model for the organization in growing youth soccer. On behalf of TN Soccer, he built and nourished relationships in his district that created trust and credibility with its members. He was adamant about following by-laws and policies, period! In 2014, Cleveland became Executive Vice President of TN Soccer. His input, counsel and trust were invaluable to me. He had earned the respect of everyone I knew in soccer. Cleveland was resolute in his integrity, his character, his work ethic and his caring for others.
Since Cleveland's election to TN Soccer's Board of Directors in 1998, his accomplishments in soccer in TN represent a legacy that deserves to be forever memorialized. On behalf of TN Soccer's Board of Directors, I am happy to announce the regional recreational soccer tournaments held across our state known as The Friendship Cups will be renamed to The Cleveland Grimes Friendship Cups. It's a very small token of our appreciation and respect for someone who has contributed so much to soccer in TN.
He will forever be missed."
Todd Lockhart, President
Tennessee State Soccer Association