Throughout the month of September, Sounders FC and MLS WORKS are working to Kick Childhood Cancer. In its fifth 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 battling cancer and their families throughout the season but particularly during this month, and the efforts are to be highlighted this Saturday afternoon during a Western Conference matchup against the Colorado Rapids. More 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.
PHOTOS - SOUNDERS FC KICK CHILDHOOD CANCER EFFORTS 2018: https://bit.ly/2DzFGmj
Fans will notice distinctive gold elements throughout the match this Saturday, 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.
Last month, Sounders FC encouraged fans to nominate youth who are battling cancer to receive a selfie-style personalized video message from a Sounders FC player. These customized messages were sent to each child, and a select number are to be shown at halftime.
The club also 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 Saturday, eight-year-old Emmanuel from Marysville joins Seattle’s team captain to participate in the coin toss and other pre-match activities, including having his own customized locker in the team locker room and being able to greet the players as they arrive. Emmanuel loves soccer and especially Sounders FC. He was diagnosed with leukemia in November 2017 and is currently still undergoing treatment. On Wednesday of this week, Emmanuel visited Starfire Sports to meet the team and participate in a training session leading up to his day as team captain on Saturday.
Saturday’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. The match ball is also being delivered by a young person battling cancer.
Sounders FC partners Alcatel and Slalom are also supporting the Kick Childhood Cancer efforts, with Alcatel donating four of their pitch-side 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.
Fans also have the opportunity this month to score an exclusive piece of Sounders gear while supporting children who are fighting cancer. Each ticket to the match purchased through a special online offer comes with a limited-edition Love Your Melon Sounders FC beanie. The beanie is knit from 100% cotton yarn in natural and green colors and features a Sounders FC patch alongside the Love Your Melon logo. This ticket offer runs through 2:00 p.m. PT on Friday, September 28.
Love Your Melon fights against pediatric cancer by donating 50% of its net profit to support its nonprofit partners working in the field of pediatric oncology to provide immediate support for families of children battling cancer. Since 2012, Love Your Melon has given nearly $5 million and 150,000 beanies.
Fans who are already in possession of a match ticket are able to purchase through the online offer to receive the hat, while their purchased seat will be donated and used by Sounders FC to host local families who are battling cancer at Saturday’s game. At halftime, 50 of the beanies are being presented to kids who are fighting cancer and their siblings. In addition, midfielder Alex Roldan and goalkeeper Bryan Meredith visited a local hospital earlier this week to deliver the special beanies to young cancer patients.
Another unique way to for fans to support childhood cancer research this month is by purchasing an exclusive Kick Childhood Cancer scarf at the CenturyLink Field and Downtown Pro Shop locations while supplies last. Scarf proceeds go to the Austen Everett Foundation. Fans can also help raise funds by sharing a scarf photo on Twitter or Instagram using #ScarvesUp. For every post with the #ScarvesUp tag, MLS WORKS donates $5 to Children's Oncology Group.
The club started its Kick Childhood Cancer month off with a bang on September 1, as a young fan, Orlando, was hosted at the team’s match against Sporting Kansas City. Orlando has been battling leukemia for over a year and, in partnership with the Seattle Ronald McDonald House Charities of Western Washington and Alaska, and Uber, the official rideshare partner of Sounders FC, he and his family were able to attend the match and even spend time with Cristian and Alex Roldan afterward.
On September 4, Sounders FC hosted the second year of “Out for Blood with Zach Scott,” a special blood drive in The Ninety, in partnership with Bloodworks Northwest and Slalom. Donors received an exclusive t-shirt signed by former Sounder Zach Scott and their donations of both platelets or plasma, in addition to whole blood, helped provide for the community’s supply. In all, 56 units of blood were donated by fans, which have the potential to help save up to 168 patients.
Fans can still donate and participate in Kick Childhood Cancer efforts by visiting any Washington State Bloodworks Northwest donor center through the end of the month, where they are eligible to win Sounders FC prizes, including autographed memorabilia and Slalom Sideline Experience seats, when they mention “Sounders.”
BloodWorks Northwest will be onsite in Soccer Celebration on Saturday along with Be The Match. 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. 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 online at BeTheMatch.org. Cheek swabs will arrive by mail in a postage paid return envelope.
On September 8, the Rave Green hosted over 80 pediatric cancer patients and their family members from Austen Everett Foundation and Sunshine Kids at Sounders FC training. Alcatel provided each of the children their own tablet and the families were given the opportunity to watch the team, meet their favorite players, get autographs and even kick around on the training field with the athletes.
On September 14, 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 Ronald McDonald House Charities of Western Washington and Alaska, an organization that provides valuable services to families who are dealing with children with life-threatening conditions.
The team also hosted Dawsin, a wish recipient from Make-A-Wish Alaska and Washington, on September 25. Dawsin, a young Sounders fan battling cancer, celebrated his eighth birthday with the club. On Tuesday, Dawsin, his family and friends joined Sounders FC staff for a celebration featuring all of Dawsin’s favorite things – most notably, Sounders FC defender Chad Marshall. As Dawsin’s favorite player on the team, Marshall surprised the young fan at the party and spent time celebrating with him. Dawsin will also be attending the match with his family this weekend in the Slalom Sideline Experience seats, courtesy of Slalom.
TRAFFIC NOTE: Due to several activities and construction projects going on in Seattle this weekend, fans should make note when planning to attend the match. The Seattle Mariners hosting a 6:10 p.m. PT game against the Texas Rangers on Saturday and the University of Washington faces BYU in a 5:30 p.m. PT game. In addition, the northbound I-5 off-ramp to the West Seattle Bridge is closed this weekend, from 9:00 p.m. PT Friday, September 28 through 5:00 a.m. PT Monday, October 1. The northbound I-5 off-ramp to Seneca is closed from 3:00 p.m. PT Saturday, September 29 through 5:00 a.m. PT Monday, October 1.