This Friday, October 16, at 1:00 p.m. PT, Seattle Sounders FC’s charitable arm, RAVE Foundation is hosting a virtual grand opening celebration for its newly completed mini pitch at Valley View Early Learning Center in SeaTac, Washington. Valley View Early Learning Center serves approximately 300 children ages three to five with free, state-funded preschool within the Highline School District.
The new playspace marks the fifth mini pitch driven by RAVE and Sounders FC’s effort to Defend the Right to Play in marginalized communities in the Puget Sound region, all with the goal of encouraging free play and healthy activity for youth. RAVE Foundation mini pitches are unrentable, meaning they remain open and available at all times to the communities they were built to serve. The Valley View mini pitch is also RAVE’s first pitch designed especially for younger children, built on a smaller scale to accommodate the preschool-age groups who will utilize it.
Funded with generous support from Delta Air Lines, Friday’s celebration includes participation from RAVE Foundation, Highline Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Susan Enfield, Valley View Elementary School Principal Kim Nelson and Delta Air Lines Vice President, Seattle, Tony Gonchar. Additionally, former Sounder Brad Evans will be on hand to assist selected Valley View preschool students with a ceremonial first goal on the new soccer playspace.
During the opening celebration, RAVE Foundation will also showcase its new First Kicks Physical Literacy program, which is being piloted at Valley View in the near future. First Kicks Physical Literacy is a preschool curriculum developed by RAVE Foundation that aims to give parents with young children at home the tools to foster cognitive development and physical activity using soccer as the tool.
Additionally, October 16 marks the beginning of Washington State’s 18-day voting period for the 2020 General Election. As part of its overall social justice framework, Sounders FC believes that voting in every election is necessary to improve the lives of everyone in our community. At Friday’s event, the club is announcing its Sounders FC VOTE Tour presented by Starbucks, with Evans previewing the events to come.
Kicking off on October 27 with a celebration at the Starbucks White Center Community Store, the Sounders FC VOTE Tour presented by Starbucks features Evans visiting ballot drop-off locations throughout King County, concentrating on areas identified by King County Elections as those with historically lower voter turnout. Evans will be present at nine different locations over the course of three days, offering physically distant selfies with fans and giving away custom stickers featuring “VOTE” artwork designed for the club by local artist and advocate Teddy “Stat” Phillips. A full list of tour locations, dates and times will be available on October 16 at SoundersFC.com/VOTE.
ABOUT RAVE FOUNDATION
RAVE Foundation, the official charitable arm of Sounders FC, was founded in 2013 to serve the greater Puget Sound community. RAVE Foundation’s mission is to build small fields for free play and invest in programs that use soccer as a vehicle to inspire youth and strengthen communities. By building small fields, RAVE Foundation helps remove barriers to participation, providing a place for kids to play freely, be physically active and safe, and to be inclusive stakeholders in their communities.
RAVE Foundation opened its flagship small field at Yesler Terrace Park in the heart of Seattle in 2018, kicking off the foundation’s “RAVE Fields” program, which is dedicated to opening both mini-pitch futsal courts and small soccer fields throughout the region. Field locations are chosen in an effort to Defend the Right to Play in marginalized communities – a key area for change in Sounders FC’s newly adopted Social Justice Platform. RAVE fields may not be rented by groups or teams and must remain open to the community at all times. Recently, RAVE Foundation has invested mini pitches at Midway Park in Des Moines, Valley Ridge Playfield in SeaTac, and Beverly Park Elementary in Burien, with more in the works.