Crew to hold Kirk Urso Memorial Night at Crew Stadium on August 9
COLUMBUS – The Columbus Crew, in conjunction with the Urso Family, today announced that the Crew Soccer Foundation is set to present a special Kirk Urso Memorial Night when the Black & Gold host the third and final Trillium Cup match of 2014, presented by Scotts, in a critical Eastern Conference matchup against Toronto FC on Saturday, August 9 at Crew Stadium. By incorporating fundraising and awareness strategies into an existing League match, the Crew and Crew Soccer Foundation are utilizing this high-profile platform to drive recognition for the Kirk Urso Memorial Fund.
The fundraising events on August 9 take the place of the previously scheduled Urso Match on August 19. The Kirk Urso Memorial Night contest looks to add to the success of the Memorial Fund’s first year of existence, which raised more than $100,000 to develop and support youth heart health research and programming.
“The Crew Soccer Foundation is excited to connect its fundraising and awareness efforts for the Kirk Urso Memorial Fund to a high-profile MLS match against one of the Crew’s biggest rivals,” said Crew Soccer Foundation Vice Chairman Jamie Ryan. “The Foundation is dedicated to building upon last year’s inaugural fundraising work, and we look forward to adding to that success as we honor Kirk’s memory.”
Surrounding the match, television and radio broadcasts are set to drive participation to an online auction that features high-value items such as unique experiences and autographed memorabilia.
Kirk Urso Memorial Fund merchandise will be heavily featured throughout the match for fans to purchase, including Urso wristbands and #15 pins with the proceeds benefiting the Kirk Urso Memorial Fund. In addition to those items, any jersey that is personalized with Urso’s name and number will have a portion of the proceeds from the personalization going to the Kirk Urso Memorial Fund.
Fans attending the match also have the opportunity to be among the first to secure a copy of Crew historian Steve Sirk’s special book Kirk Urso: Forever Massive Memories from the 2012 Columbus Crew, available for purchase at the match on August 9 for $20. A color edition is also set to be available for $45. The book, detailing insight and commentary from those that knew Urso best while he was with the Crew, is also available for purchase online at TheCrew.com/ForeverMassive. Proceeds from the sale of this book go to the Crew Soccer Foundation’s Kirk Urso Memorial Fund.
Urso was originally selected by the Crew in the first round (No.10 overall) in the 2012 Supplemental Draft, and appeared in six games (five starts) with one assist before being sidelined by injury. He was a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he made four consecutive NCAA Men’s College Cup Final Four appearances and captained the team to the 2011 NCAA National Championship. Urso unexpectedly passed away at the age of 22 from a congenital heart defect on August 5, 2012. He was admired for his unwavering work ethic and steadfast character both on and off the field. In 2013, Crew defender Eric Gehrig was honored with the Kirk Urso Heart Award.
More information on the Crew Soccer Foundation is available at CrewSoccerFoundation.org and information on the Kirk Urso Memorial Fund is available at TheCrew.com/UrsoFund.