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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFor those who don’t know, I have become a huge soccer fan in recent years. I’m an FC Dallas season ticketholder and member of supporter group Dallas Beer Guardians. They have a tailgate before every home match with food and beer, and you can see them behind the goal yelling, chanting, and waving flags.

IMG_20150314_211928_192Beer garden at the St. Patrick’s Day game

They also do a yearly day of service in the local community. This year, they partnered with Lionsraw, Playsoccer2give, and Fifty-Eight Foundation to paint the dugout wall at Medrano Middle School’s baseball field and play some soccer with the kids.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALionsraw is a global movement to mobilize soccer fans for good.

Fifty-Eight Foundation is a local group that grows food and raises animals to give away, uses mobile sporting equipment and running coaching programs to promote healthy and active lifestyles, working with schools, nonprofits, and churches in low income communities.

Playsoccer2give establishes soccer-playing communities in New York, Texas, and California that raise funds via pickup games and other soccer-related activities. They also help soccer nonprofits and projects with funding, awareness, and volunteers in under-resourced areas.

Our leader told us that, although the Medrano looks nice and new, most of the students are on the free lunch program, and the school needs a lot of help. Volunteers from Lionsraw have been at the school all week building benches and doing other projects.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe arrived at 8:00 and did as much painting as we could when it was still shady. Eventually, some kids showed up and started playing soccer, dodgeball, and human foosball. I think they were eventually going to cook hotdogs and play bubble soccer (which is hilarious), but I used my missing kidney as an excuse to head out after the wall was painted. What? I can’t get dehydrated…

IMG_20150707_171401_596Bubble Soccer

If you like soccer, I highly suggest joining the Beer Guardians or another FC Dallas supporter group.

FC Dallas also has a foundation that participates in the American Heart Association Heart Walk, builds well-lit turf soccer fields in low socioeconomic areas, has a Special Olympics team, allows needy kids to attend FC Dallas games, donates soccer gear around the world, and offers scholarships for kids to play recreational soccer.

This year, I participated in the Footy 5K benefiting the foundation. Hopefully this will become a yearly event. IMG_20150711_080353_912I also attended the extremely fun fundraiser Cocktails and Cleats, which featured a silent auction, free food and drinks, a DJ, painters, foosball with FCD players, and more.

IMG_20150624_194617_293

Playing foosball with FC Dallas players Tesho Akindele (Canadian national team) and Ryan Hollingshead, who helped start a church

Also, if you are a soccer fan, check out my blog entry on America Scores, which fights obesity and illiteracy in the city with poetry, soccer, and community service.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFinished wall

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