Press Release

Sounders FC and RAVE Foundation Accept Generous Major Donation at Last Friday's 2023 RAVE Champions Gala

Sounders FC Alum & Guest Photo Op

SEATTLE, WASH. – Sounders FC and its official charitable partner RAVE Foundation today shared the exciting news of a generous major donation made to RAVE at the organization’s annual fundraising event, the RAVE Champions Gala, held last Friday, March 3.

Sounders FC and RAVE Foundation longtime partner Thach Nguyen, alongside the organization Springboard to Wealth, made a significant contribution of $235,787 entirely to RAVE Foundation that far exceeded expectations. These funds were direct proceeds from the sale of a Kirkland home, purchased and rehabilitated by Nguyen and Springboard to Wealth. Dozens of vendors and suppliers also donated their products and services to the project thus contributing to the overall proceeds.

Since summer of 2021, Nguyen and his network have raised over $900,000 for RAVE Foundation, likely surpassing the $1 million raised mark in 2023. Nguyen’s commitment to RAVE has included not only inspiring others to give, but also donating his appearance fee at speaking engagements and creating lines of merchandise to benefit RAVE. Nguyen has aligned with artist Teddy “Stat” Phillips to seed-fund a mini-pitch at Yakima’s Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School that will feature a portrait, painted by Phillips, at center circle. Through his commitment, Nguyen is inspiring a new generation of philanthropists.

“I am incredibly inspired and grateful to Thach and his Springboard to Wealth family for their unprecedented support of RAVE’s mission,” said Sounders FC Vice President of Philanthropy and RAVE Foundation Executive Director Ashley Fosberg. “Thach is building the next generation of philanthropists and leading by example, he is become one of RAVE’s best champions and advocates and his commitment inspires us to set higher goals and work faster to benefit more kids and communities.”

Nguyen and his real estate investment network, Springboard to Wealth, have also raised $400,000 for RAVE’s two turf fields in Seattle’s NewHolly – a Seattle Housing Authority neighborhood located between Beacon Hill and Rainier Valley. Those fields are a flagship location for Seattle’s World Cup legacy, a commitment fulfilled through RAVE Foundation to build 26 fields in time for FIFA World Cup 2026™ that will anchor programs to bring opportunities for physical and mental wellness, learning, gathering and joy.

With more than 300 guests in attendance, the 2023 RAVE Champions Gala was presented by Delta Air Lines and sponsored by Ashbaugh Beal, JR7 Soccer, HCMP Law Offices, UMC, Tunista Construction LLC, Lumen Field, Washington Youth Soccer and Bellevue Rush. This year’s fundraising event, which raised nearly $500,000, included an online silent auction with one-of-a-kind Sounders FC items and experiences, live music, raffles, custom Sounders / RAVE Glassybaby sales, and a live auction emceed by KJR's Dick Fain and Brand Ambassador Brad Evans.

Special guests in attendance included Sounders FC Majority Owner Adrian Hanauer, President of Business Operations Hugh Weber, Head Coach Brian Schmetzer, Sounders FC forward Fredy Montero, CEO of U.S. Soccer Foundation Ed Foster-Simeon, Chief Operating Officer Maya Mendoza-Exstrom, Chief Revenue & Marketing Officer Taylor Graham, in addition to Sounders FC Alumni Lamar Neagle, James Riley, Chance Fry and Andy Rose, and Chief Executive for Sports and Human Rights & United States Women’s National Team FIFA World Cup champion Mary Harvey, among others.

One of the many unique items available for guests to bid upon this year was the exclusive Macklemore + 58 Stars Travel European Tour: A once-in-a-lifetime experience, donated with the support of Sounders FC Owner and Seattle-bred hip-hop superstar Macklemore. The tour package includes roundtrip airline tickets for two, hotel arrangements, concert tickets and a backstage meet-and-greet experience with Macklemore.

In addition to the rousing auctions and activities, guests heard from Renton High School students Cora Supasatit and Langston Gary, who spoke about the importance of schools providing consistent and accessible mental and behavioral health services for students. The speech further inspired Delta Airlines to donate two business-class tickets to one of its 85 destinations around the globe as an on-the-spot auction item.

Proceeds from the gala benefit RAVE’s 26 Fields by 2026 campaign, as part of the club’s effort to bring play equity to youth in Washington state through its Defend the Right to Play social justice arena for change.

Thanks to Thach’s support and the support of many others – Providence, Delta Air Lines, Emerald Queen Casino, Springboard to Wealth, The Johnson Team at CrossCountry Mortgage, Symetra, Seattle Storm, OL Reign, Washington Youth Soccer, Seattle United, Seattle Youth Soccer Association, University of Washington, Jim Phillips and family and the Kleeberger Family Foundation – RAVE has opened 13 fields to date – including two in Yakima at Barge-Lincoln Elementary School – and plans to open up to seven more by the end of 2023.

Through this new milestone, RAVE Foundation reinforces its commitment to build 26 small fields for free play by the end of 2026 in historically marginalized communities in the state – with the target date of completion in time for FIFA World Cup 2026™ – while also investing in and around those fields that use soccer as a vehicle to support the health and wellbeing of youth.

OTHER WAYS TO SUPPORT RAVE FOUNDATION

New this year, Sounders FC is hosting a 50/50 raffle at each home match during the regular season. Fans are invited to purchase raffle tickets from sellers located throughout the stadium from the time gates open through the 50th minute of play. The fan with the winning ticket receives 50 percent of the total amount raised through the raffle sales of the match, with the other 50 percent benefiting RAVE Foundation, the official charitable partner of Sounders FC. The winning raffle number is announced between minute 70 and 80 each match and posted to RaveFoundation.org/5050, where more details and official rules can also be found.

More information about RAVE Foundation can be found via RaveFoundation.org. RAVE also welcomes donations to the general 26 Fields by 2026 campaign HERE.

Any media inquiries regarding the RAVE Champions Gala or the 26 Fields by 2026 campaign should be directed to Gisselle Pichardo of Sounders FC Communications [GisselleP@soundersfc.com].

- SOUNDERS FC -

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