FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Beverly Swihart Holmes, U.S. Soccer Foundation, 202.872.6664 firstname.lastname@example.org
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Soccer Foundation, the Major Charitable Arm of Soccer in the United States, today announced that it has made $1.2 million in funds available to 27 groups in 16 states and the District of Columbia as part of its 15th annual grants program.
The 2009 grants continue the Foundation’s focus on improving the health and well being of children in urban economically disadvantaged areas using soccer as a vehicle for social change. The grants will help pay for field development, uniforms, player equipment, travel costs, facility rental, registration costs, and training for players, coaches and referees.
Through its history, the Foundation has made nearly $51 million available to groups in all 50 states to support the growth of soccer in the U.S. Since the first grants were made in the spring of 1995, the Foundation has issued almost 600 awards to groups large and small in every corner of the nation.
This year, the Foundation awarded five field grants for the construction of full-size FieldTurf soccer fields that are durable, and can be used in all weather conditions. In addition, the Foundation awarded 17 grants for soccer development programs and five for field enhancements and upgrades. Page 3 identifies, alphabetically by state, the 22 program and field grant recipients as well as the five FieldTurf field grants.
“The Foundation supports projects that focus on keeping kids active, healthy and engaged in activities that provide an alternative to negative influences,” said Ed Foster-Simeon, President of the U.S. Soccer Foundation. “We believe that soccer fosters a child’s development as both an athlete on the field of play and as a young adult in the game of life and are committed to making sure each child has opportunities to succeed.”
The Foundation is proud to be a Major League Soccer (MLS) charity of choice and pleased to announce that, once again, the Foundation is the recipient of all MLS player fines accumulated during the 2008 season. All of these funds were added to the Foundation’s annual grants pool this year and help create opportunities for players, coaches and referees to play the game of soccer.
“While no player is happy about paying a fine, the Union is proud to work with the U.S. Soccer Foundation to turn a negative into a positive by directing fine money to such worthwhile programs,” said Bob Foose, Executive Director of the Major League Soccer Players Union. “The Foundation has always been tremendously supportive of those who play the game and we look forward to continuing to work together in the future.”
Named Awards – A highlight of the grant process each year is the announcement of the designated, “named” awards.
The Rothenberg Award, named for Lifetime Board Director, Alan I. Rothenberg, is presented annually to a program that best exemplifies the Foundation’s increasing emphasis on serving coaches, players and referees in at-risk urban communities, while the Ann and Jim Hamilton Award, is presented to a program with the greatest impact on young female players. This year, the Rothenberg Award is going to the Heart of Los Angeles Youth, Inc. in Los Angeles, CA, while the Ann & Jim Hamilton Award is being presented to the Anderson Monarchs Girls Soccer Club in Philadelphia, PA.
The MLS Players’ Award is presented this year to three organizations – America SCORES Denver in Denver, CO., the Capitol Community Soccer Club in Washington, D.C., and America SCORES Chicago in Chicago, IL.
In 2006, the U.S. Soccer Foundation established the Mooch Myernick Fund, at the request of the Myernick family, to honor the life, career and years of distinguished service that coach Glenn “Mooch” Myernick dedicated to the sport of soccer. Proceeds from the Mooch Myernick Fund were distributed this year to the YMCA of Greater Kansas City in Kansas City, MO, to help increase the number of children playing the sport in metropolitan communities nationwide.
In 2007, the Foundation, in consultation with David’s and his wife Kerry’s families, created the David Charles Vanole Memorial Fund to honor his life, career and years of distinguished soccer service. As requested by both families, a grant each year is awarded to a soccer club or organization which will help create and sustain soccer opportunities for underserved children in urban areas, with an emphasis on groups in the Southern California region where David began his career. The Foundation is pleased to designate Jovenes, Inc., in Los Angeles, CA, as the 2009 recipient of the Vanole Memorial Fund award.
In February 2007, long-time Board Member, Charlie Stillitano, Jr., announced his retirement from the Foundation’s Board of Directors. Charlie began his Board tenure as the original Chairman of the Grants Committee and ultimately dedicated more than 12 years of his outstanding leadership to help frame the Foundation’s grant making process. The Foundation designates the Just One Neighborhood Program in Newark, NJ, as the 2009 recipient of the Charlie Stillitano, Jr. award. This award, at Charlie’s request, also honors his father, Mr. Charlie Stillitano, Sr., and is given to the soccer club or organization that provides playing opportunities for economically disadvantaged, inner-city children with an emphasis on groups in New Jersey, New York, and the Mid-Atlantic States.
The 2009 Program and Field Enhancement grant recipients (listed alphabetically by state) are:
- NorthStar Soccer Club (Birmingham, AL)
- North of the River (Bakersfield, CA)
- City of Fresno, PARCS Department (Fresno, CA)
- Heart of Los Angeles, Inc. (Los Angeles, CA) *
- Jovenes, Inc. (Los Angeles, CA) ‡‡
- America SCORES Denver (Denver, CO) ▲
- Capitol Community Soccer Club (Washington, DC)▲
- District of Columbia Parks and Recreation (Washington, DC)
- YMCA of the Suncoast (Clearwater, FL)
- City of Fort Myers (Fort Myers, FL)
- America SCORES Chicago (Chicago, IL) ▲
- YMCA of Greater Kansas City (Kansas City, MO) ‡
- City of Willard (Willard, MO)
- Just One Neighborhood Program (Newark, NJ) ***
- Southwest Youth Services (Corrales, NM)
- Catholic Charities (Gresham, OR)
- Allentown Youth Soccer Club (Coopersburg, PA)
- Anderson Monarchs Girls Youth Soccer Club (Philadelphia, PA) **
- Raising Hope, Inc. (Providence, RI)
- St. Anthony School (Florence, SC)
- Houston Parks and Recreation Department (Houston, TX)
- Milwaukee Wave of Kindness (Milwaukee, WI)
*Alan I. Rothenberg Award
**Ann & Jim Hamilton Award
***Charlie Stillitano, Jr. Award
‡Mooch Myernick Fund
‡‡David Vanole Memorial Fund
▲MLS Players Union
The 2009 FieldTurf Field grant recipients (listed alphabetically by state) are:
- City of Inglewood (Inglewood, CA)
- Metropolitan Oval Foundation (Queens, NY)
- Seattle Parks and Recreation (Seattle, WA)
- Vancouver-Clark Parks and Recreation (Vancouver, WA)
- FC Milwaukee (Butler, WI)
About the U.S. Soccer Foundation
The U.S. Soccer Foundation was established in 1994 to manage the surplus funds generated by the 1994 FIFA World Cup held in the United States. As the Major Charitable Arm of Soccer in the U.S., the Foundation has invested more than $51 million in the game, supporting hundreds of projects in every state in the country. The Foundation provides grants focused on developing players, coaches and referees and building or enhancing fields and soccer complexes, with a special emphasis on economically disadvantaged youth in urban communities. For more information, or to donate online, please visit ussoccerfoundation.org.
Media Request: When referring to the U.S. Soccer Foundation, the Major Charitable Arm of Soccer in the United States, please refer to the organization only as the U.S. Soccer Foundation or the Foundation, and never as USSF or US/U.S. Soccer. We appreciate your cooperation.