Svensson/Bruin KCC
Mike Fietchner

Sounders FC works to Kick Childhood Cancer heading into Wednesday's Cascadia matchup against Vancouver

SEATTLE, WASH. – Throughout the month of September, Sounders FC is partnering with MLS WORKS in an effort to Kick Childhood Cancer. In its fourth year, the league-wide childhood cancer awareness campaign combines special game presentation elements with individual club programs. The Rave Green have been dedicated to creating many inspiring and empowering experiences for youth with cancer and their families this month, and the efforts are to be highlighted this Wednesday night during an important Cascadia clash with Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Complete information on Sounders FC’s efforts to Kick Childhood Cancer during the month of September can be found via the following link: http://sndrs.com/kickchildhoodcancer.

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PHOTOS - SOUNDERS FC KICK CHILDHOOD CANCER EFFORTS 2017: http://bit.ly/2yocyGZ

Prior to the match, Sounders FC teams up with Bloodworks Northwest to present "Out for Blood with Zach Scott," a special blood drive at The NINETY from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. PT. Every fan that gives blood at the event receives an exclusive t-shirt, presented by Slalom and autographed by Scott, legendary club defender, Slalom employee and staunch supporter of childhood cancer research efforts. Blood donations are essential to medical work in many areas, including patients with childhood cancer. Each year, Bloodworks Northwest helps over 55,000 patients receive life-saving blood transfusions in the Pacific Northwest, including children with cancer like Scott family friends Awesome Avery Berg and Sweet Jane O'Connell. Spaces for fans to donate as part of "Out for Blood with Zach Scott" are limited and an appointment is required, so those interested should register at the following link: http://sndrs.com/bn6wz.

Be The Match is onsite throughout the game to encourage fans to join its donor registry. The organization's mission is to provide a matching donor for every patient in need and to eliminate barriers to bone marrow and stem cell transplants. Be The Match, operated by the National Marrow Donor Program, connects patients with blood diseases to their life-saving marrow or stem cell transplant. From 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. PT, Be The Match can be found in The NINETY as part of the club's blood drive, and from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. PT the organization is located in Soccer Celebration. Any fans between the ages of 18 and 44 who are in good health and are committed to donating to a patient in need are encouraged to register a sample, which is done by signing a consent form and having a cheek swabbed. Online registration is also available at: Join.BeTheMatch.org/SOUNDERS.

Fans will notice distinctive gold elements throughout the match, including the official match ball, captain's armbands, corner flags and goal nets. Jerseys also feature a commemorative gold ribbon patch and players and referees continue to wear special edition Kick Childhood Cancer shirts during pre-match activities.

The club continues its tradition of hosting an honorary team captain from the  Austen Everett Foundation as part of AEF's mission to provide inspiring experiences to children battling cancer by partnering with collegiate and professional sports teams. Sounders FC has a close relationship with AEF and hosts an Austen Everett Foundation Honorary Captain at every match. This Wednesday, six-year-old Joshua Fischer joins Seattle's team captain to participate in the coin toss and other prematch activities. Joshua was three years old when diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and is currently still undergoing treatment.

A Golden Scarf is to be presented prior to kickoff, honoring Austen Everett, the founder of AEF. Everett, a Seattle native, played soccer collegiately at the University of Santa Barbara and the University of Miami, where she was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and underwent treatment. She started her foundation during her own battle as a way to inspire, empower and embolden the lives of other young people battling cancer. Everett passed away in 2012, but her legacy lives on through the work of AEF nationwide. Her Golden Scarf is being presented to her mother, June Leahy, who serves as Executive Director of AEF.

The evening's Xbox Dream Team consists of youth ages 6-12 who are fighting cancer and their siblings. These special young people have the opportunity to walk out onto the pitch side-by-side with players to take part in opening ceremonies while wearing an official uniform that is theirs to keep after the match. Additionally, Sounders FC's "Scarves Up, Seattle!" pregame ritual is to be led by Leahy, along with a small group of young cancer patients.

Sounders FC partners Alcatel and Slalom are also supporting the Kick Childhood Cancer efforts, with Alcatel donating four sidelines seats and an exclusive suite experience and Slalom donating four of their Slalom Experience Pitch-side seats to youth and their families who are affected by cancer.

Throughout the month and continuing through the week, fans looking for a unique way to celebrate Sounders FC while supporting childhood cancer research can purchase an exclusive Kick Childhood Cancer scarf at the CenturyLink Field and Downtown Pro Shop locations while supplies last. Scarf proceeds go to Children's Oncology Group and Austen Everett Foundation. Fans can also help raise funds by tweeting an original photo tagged with #ScarvesUp. For every tweet, MLS WORKS donates $1 to Children's Oncology Group.

Earlier this month, the club hosted over two dozen youth with cancer and their families from Austen Everett Foundation and Sunshine Kids to watch the team train at Starfire Sports. Each of the children battling cancer were provided with their very own Alcatel A30 Tablet 8" and Sounders FC player emoji cutouts. After the formal training session, the kids received photos and autographs from the team and those who could participate also kicked around with their favorite soccer stars.

On September 15, as part of the United Way's Day of Caring, Sounders FC front office staff volunteered at a number of projects throughout the Greater Seattle area, including at Soulumination and Ronald McDonald House Charities of Western Washington and Alaska, both organizations which provide valuable services to families who are dealing with children with life-threatening conditions.

On September 16, the team provided a private viewing party of its road match at FC Dallas for the Austen Everett Foundation, giving AEF families a chance to connect and enjoy fun activities outside of the hospital while cheering on Seattle to its 13th-consecutive unbeaten result.

Midfielder Brad Evans visited Seattle Children's Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research last Tuesday, presenting the doctors and researchers with a check for $15,000 raised through the proceeds from an exclusive t-shirt that Evans and his wife, Becky, sold. The shirt was patterned from an original two-pole designed by Emerald City Supporters member Kyle Boyd. The Evanses sold nearly 1,000 "Be Rad" shirts and specifically targeted the center as their charity of choice to support the groundbreaking research being done to cure childhood cancers.

Last Friday, the team hosted its Make-A-Wish youth, Noelia. Noelia wished to go to Hawaii because she loves nature and new adventures and wanted to go on a vacation with her family. Sounders FC sponsored her trip and, on September 22, hosted Noelia and her family in The NINETY for a special Seattle luau with team staff, giving her a chance to share about her experience.

Following a 2-0 loss to Real Salt Lake on Saturday evening, Sounders FC returns home to prepare for Cascadia rival Vancouver on Wednesday, September 27. Kickoff for that midweek contest is slated for 7:30 p.m. PT, with television coverage being provided by JOEtv and radio coverage via KIRO Radio 97.3 FM and El Rey 1360 AM. Wednesday's match has key implications for the 2017 MLS postseason, in addition to the Cascadia Cup. Seattle then heads back on the road for a cross-country trip to Philadelphia on Sunday, October 1 (10:00 a.m. PT / ESPN, KIRO Radio 97.3 FM, El Rey 1360 AM).

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