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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Former professional soccer star leads charge to support DC SCORES

John Harkes has quite the soccer resume, so you have to believe the man when he endorses a soccer program. He knows what works. He's had great, great success over the years.

Harkes was the first American to play in the English Premier League; he played in two World Cup tournaments for the U.S.; and he won two MLS titles with D.C. United.

And now, he's doing something just as important — if not on such a big stage. Through the nonprofit Athletes for Hope, Harkes has chosen DC SCORES as his charity for a one-month giving challenge against other athletes promoting other organizations. Beginning today, he is directing potential donors to our Athletes for Hope page — where it is easy to make a contribution to directly help District youth participate in after-school soccer practices and games as well as poetry and service-learning activities.

"I'm so proud to be able to work with an organization like DC SCORES," Harkes said. "The programs that they provide to the community are invaluable and get so many kids involved in positive activities on the field and in the classroom as well.

"But there is so much more we can do for our children, and it is really important that we support organizations like DC SCORES that make such a tremendous impact in our community."

This is an especially crucial time of year for DC SCORES. We need the support of donors — whether large, medium or small — to help sustain our programming coming off another successful season on the soccer field and in the classroom, and as we start pooling our resources for the upcoming spring season.

The great thing about the competition, called Who Gives? Racing for a Cause, is that any donation will help move us toward one very large donation. When the challenge ends Jan. 15, whichever organization has received the most money and  whichever organization has gotten the most unique contributions will each receive $10,000. There are also second-  and third-place prices of $5,000 and $2,500, respectively.

So your donation of $5, or any amount, could turn into $10,000. And keep track of where DC SCORES is in the global giving standings during the month-long giving contest.

In addition to the competition for the two large prizes, there are smaller contests -- also based on the most money contributed and the most donations received -- on Dec. 22, 29 and 30 and Jan. 5, 7 and 12. There are $500 prizes on each of these days, so donations would be even more appreciated during these times.

To access our Athletes for Hope page and help John Harkes support DC SCORES, go here.

In today's economic climate, in which parents often have to find whatever work they can to support their families, it is especially critical that children be supervised after school. This has been made painfully clear in the Afterschool Alliance's recent comprehensive study.

Help DC SCORES continue to fill that need, and develop talented young soccer players who Harkes would be proud to watch play, with a donation this holiday season.

Any support would be greatly appreciated by those involved with DC SCORES. Thank you.

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