Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Chief Executive Officer Chris Branscome presents a check to James Pepe of the American Cancer Society on behalf of Red Card Cancer.
Plymouth Meeting, PA>>Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer and its membership raised $12,000 for Red Card Cancer throughout the month of February. The state association collected donations at various events, including the Keystone Diamond Showcase and Directors of Coaching Summit. The real push, however, came at the Annual General Meeting on February 23. Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer member leagues and clubs wrote checks or pledged money totaling more than $5,300 at the AGM alone.
All $12,000 will go to Red Card Cancer, a soccer-based cancer charity and partner of the American Cancer Society, to fund cancer research.
“I’m grateful for the support of the membership in this cause,” Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer CEO Chris Branscome said. “All of us have been touched by cancer in some way, and to see our soccer community come together is inspiring.”
Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer partnered with Red Card Cancer in 2014. Since then, the state association has centered its fundraising efforts on “Futbol Friday,” an annual celebration when Eastern Pennsylvania Youth encourages people to wear their favorite soccer jerseys and donate to Red Card Cancer.
When Red Card Cancer partnered with the American Cancer Society in August 2018 the two organizations reached out nationally to get other state associations involved.
Connecticut Junior Soccer Association took up the cause. At its AGM in January, CJSA raised $8,850 and then took to social media to challenge Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer to beat that number.
Now, with more $20,000 raised between two state associations, Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer will issue a challenge of its own to another state association to keep the money coming in for Red Card Cancer.
“The youth soccer community is going to be massive to this effort,” James Pepe, Community Development Manager for the American Cancer Society – Northeast, said. “Getting youth players, their parents, the administrators on board, they’re going to help raise cancer awareness for various things and provide a significant amount of dollars that is going directly to research.”
Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer encourages local clubs to get involved as well. Red Card Cancer has numerous tools on its website, RedCardCancer.org, including a playbook and sample fundraising events. Individuals can also make online donations at the website.
“You can do a Red Card Cancer weekend with your club. You can just do an online push, something as simple as that,” Pepe said. “With questions, contact your local American Cancer Society office. They will have different avenues that have worked in sports and outside of sports just to generate ideas. There is no bad idea when trying to think of a fundraiser to plug into Red Card Cancer and the American Cancer Society.”
ABOUT EASTERN PENNSYLVANIA YOUTH SOCCER:
Since 1972, Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer has worked throughout Eastern Pennsylvania to promote, foster and perpetuate the game of soccer to the region’s youth. Through competitions, educational programs, outreach efforts and coaching clinics, Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer impacts the lives of more than 120,000 youth soccer players from ages 5 to 19. Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer is one of 55 state associations in US Youth Soccer and a member of the United States Soccer Federation. Additional information about Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer can be found at www.EPYSA.org.
ABOUT RED CARD CANCER:
Red Card Cancer began in the fall of 2009 on the campus of Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania. What started as a tribute to founder Paul Payne’s long time friend and mentor, Joe Bochicchio, has grown into a 501(c)(3) organization with national reach and a growing impact on all levels of soccer in the United States. Since 2010, RCC has been closely affiliated with the internationally renowned Johns Hopkins’ Sidney Kimmel Cancer Research Center. In 2018, RCC entered into a new partnership with the American Cancer Society.