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SEATTLE, WASH. – Seattle Sounders FC and its charitable partner, RAVE Foundation, today announced the kickoff and annual celebration of Latinx Heritage Month – which runs from September 15 to October 15 each year – through different events that are taking place in Yakima and surrounding areas in recognition of the contributions and influence of Hispanic Americans to United States history and culture. The weekend celebration kicks off with an opening ceremony event of two new mini-pitches built by RAVE and partners at Barge-Lincoln Elementary School in Yakima, a public event scheduled to take place on Saturday, September 17 at 2:00 p.m. PT.

The celebratory ceremony supports the club’s commitment to Defend the Right to Play for youth in historically marginalized communities where access to free, available play-spaces is scarce. With the construction of the new Barge-Lincoln mini-pitches – an initiative in partnership with longtime partners Club Santos Laguna and Orlegi Sports and in collaboration with the University of Washington, Yakima Public Schools and EarthGen – RAVE reinforces its commitment to build 26 small fields for free play by 2026.

The partnership between Seattle Sounders FC and Orlegi Sports – the business entity that operates Liga MX side Santos Laguna – is not new. In 2021, the two entities announced a strategic alliance and collaborative community-focused project in Washington’s Yakima Valley where both clubs operate academy partnerships. As part of this alliance, Sounders and Santos Laguna are investing in two side-by-side co-branded RAVE Foundation mini-pitches in partnership with Yakima Public Schools.

“This project represents one of the first official collaborations fueled by the strategic alliance between Seattle Sounders FC and Orlegi Sports,” said Ashley Fosberg, Vice President of Philanthropy for Seattle Sounders FC and Executive Director of RAVE Foundation. “We could not be more pleased to be partnering with Orlegi, Yakima Public Schools and the University of Washington to bring RAVE’s first investments in Eastern Washington to fruition.” “Extending our 26 Fields by 2026 investments to Yakima and beyond are important to us and to the communities we serve, and Yakima is the perfect first step. The students of Barge-Lincoln are ready to play.”

In Yakima County, where 50.2 percent of the population identifies as Hispanic or Latino – compared to 13.0 percent of Washington State’s total population – the new mini-pitches and gardens provide an important service for the community’s youth, with bright inviting play and learning spaces. Central to RAVE’s mission is the fact that mini-pitches are unrentable, meaning they remain open and available at all times to the communities they were built to serve, preserving play opportunities for all children.

The Barge-Lincoln opening ceremony will feature special guests and community leaders including Yakima Mayor Janice Deccio, the Head Consul of Mexico in Seattle Héctor Iván Godoy Priske, Yakima Public Schools Superintendent Trevor Green, Barge-Lincoln Elementary School Principal Tori Brennan, RAVE Foundation Executive Director and Sounders FC Vice President of Philanthropy Ashley Fosberg, former Sounder and current team Brand Ambassador Brad Evans as well as University of Washington and EarthGen representatives.

The opening event includes a performance by the Barge-Lincoln student marimba ensemble, a ceremonial first shot on-goal by Barge-Lincoln’s students, an all-school ball giveaway and student speakers. The ceremony is preceded and followed by soccer skills training and scrimmaging with local club coaches and Sounders FC staff. Additionally, students at Barge-Lincoln Elementary School will receive a free t-shirt courtesy of RAVE Foundation and the University of Washington.

The inaugural ceremony, scheduled to take place on Saturday, September 17 from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. PT, is a celebration for all Barge-Lincoln students, their families, staff members and the surrounding community. Media partners, community leaders and Sounders FC’s fans are all welcome. Free afternoon snacks will be also provided.

Barge-Lincoln Elementary School is located at 219 E I Street, Yakima, WA 98901 and surrounding street parking is available to those who would like to attend. The event is free to the public.

Media interested in covering RAVE Foundation’s events in Yakima should RSVP with Gisselle Pichardo of Sounders FC Communications [GisselleP@SoundersFC.com].

RAVE FOUNDATION FUNDRAISING EVENT

As part of the weekend festivities, RAVE Foundation is hosting a fundraising dinner and auction event to celebrate and rally support for the club’s future investments in Yakima and RAVE’s vision to build 26 small fields for free play throughout Washington State. The dinner is scheduled to take place on Friday, September 16 at 5:00 p.m. PT at Dineen Vineyards in Zillah, Washington, located roughly 15 miles southeast of Yakima. Dineen Vineyards is a family-owned and operated viticulture business with one of the premier sites in the state and highly acclaimed estate wines.

Funds raised benefit future fields and future investments in Yakima as part of RAVE’s 26 Fields by 2026 initiative, which aims to build 26 community playfields by 2026. The initiative prioritizes historically-underfunded communities with free, small playfields, which serve as anchors for culturally-responsive RAVE programs that use soccer as a vehicle to support whole, healthy children. Through this fundraising event, the Rave Green’s charitable partner also looks to recognize those organizations who had played a key role in the successful and collaborative project of the Barge-Lincoln Elementary School including Club Santos Laguna, Orlegi Sports, University of Washington and Yakima Public Schools.

The fundraising event will feature special guests and community leaders including Yakima School District Superintendent Trevor Greene, the Head Consul of Mexico in Seattle Héctor Iván Godoy Priske, Sounders FC Chief Operating Officer Maya Mendoza, RAVE Board Chair Fred Mendoza as well as EarthGen representatives.

Although participation in this event is by invitation only, media members are welcome to attend and cover it as part of the weekend’s festivities. The event features a live and silent auction for those who would like to contribute and bid on available items.

RAVE Foundation’s Fundraising dinner is scheduled to take place at Dineen Vineyards on Friday, September 16 from 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. PT. Dineen Vineyards is located in the hills of the Lower Yakima Valley at 2980 Gilbert Rd, Zillah, WA, 98953.

This is a private event and those who would like to attend can send an email to Ashley Fosberg from RAVE Foundation at [AshleyF@SoundersFC.com].

SOUNDERS FC MATCHDAY VIEWING PARTY

To officially close the weekend celebrations in Yakima and surrounding areas, Seattle Sounders FC and RAVE Foundation are hosting a matchday viewing party ahead of the club’s fixture against Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday, September 17 (7:00 p.m. PT / FOX 13+, Prime Video, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM). The Viewing Party is being hosted at Bale Breaker Brewing Company and is scheduled to start at 5:00 p.m. PT followed by kickoff at 7:00 P.M. PT.

Bale Breaker Brewing Company is a family-owned brewery located in the Yakima Valley, recognized for offering crafting fresh-off-the-farm brews. Bale Breaker started in 2013 and has grown to become the third-largest independent craft brewery in Washington.

Fans are encouraged to attend and enjoy special giveaways, food trucks, happy hour, trivia and more. Specials guests in attendance include Dry Side Supporters (DSS), an Emerald City Supporters subgroup representing Central and Eastern Washington, as well as EarthGen representatives.

The viewing party will feature a trivia contest – hosted by former Sounder and current team Brand Ambassador Brad Evans – to win Sounders FC autographed gear and Bale Breaker Brewing prizes during half-time. In addition, and for fans' viewing pleasure, a big screen displaying the game is available on the outdoor patio. Saturday’s event will include an onsite food truck from Crazy Foods, a truck that offers delicious and authentic Mexican food. As an additional incentive, fans will receive $1 off pints from 5:00 p.m. PT to close.

Bale Breaker Brewing Company Taproom is located at 1801 Birchfield Road, Yakima, WA 98901, and surrounding street parking is available to those who would like to attend.

For further information on any of the events taking place this weekend, media may contact Gisselle Pichardo of Sounders FC Communications [GisselleP@SoundersFC.com].

- SOUNDERS FC -

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