COLUMBUS –The Columbus Crew today announced that the club’s community initiatives are being strategically organized under a new platform titled Dare to Care. The Crew’s off-the-field commitment to serving challenged youth, encouraging healthy and positive lifestyles, honoring the military and keeping Columbus beautiful are the main pillars of this program and will be the focus of Crew players, coaches and staff.
“Although the Crew has been involved in a number of impactful community outreach programs and initiatives since the club’s inception, Dare to Care provides us with a unique platform and focus for our efforts moving forward that allows us to develop stronger partnerships in the community and deliver more meaningful and far-reaching results for these identified areas,” said Crew Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing Mike Malo. “This alignment will be extremely valuable in strengthening our commitment and opportunities to make Columbus a better place to live.”
To celebrate the unveiling of this new platform, Crew players Ethan Finlay and Josh Williams are joining Crew President Mark McCullers, Brand Ambassador Frankie Hejduk and members of the Crew front office to assist in this year’s Salvation Army Christmas Cheer event at the DiSalle Center on Wednesday, December 18 at 9:30 a.m. ET. Christmas Cheer is Central Ohio's largest holiday toy and food distribution program and the annual event is set to distribute food and toys to nearly 8,000 families in need.
Christmas Cheer is the second event this holiday season that the Salvation Army and Columbus Crew have partnered together. Last week, Crew employees volunteered for 18 hours in support of the Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign.
Over the course of 2013, the Crew was very active in the Central Ohio community. The highlights include:
- 440 staff and player community appearances
- 977.5 total hours of community service
- Participation in at least one community event from every player on the 2013 roster
- September’s MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Month winner, Matt Lampson
- More than 2,000 items donated to various non-profit organizations
- Two Massive Makeover Projects: Linden Community Garden and Ronald McDonald House workout room
- Inaugural Casting with the Crew fishing event with Ohio Purple Heart Recipients
- Events with Down Syndrome Association of Central Ohio, Special Olympics, Operation Buckeye, Global Down Syndrome Foundation and Easter Seals
- The Active Bodies Active Minds youth activity and reading program, which to date has reached more than 5,000 children from YMCA, Boys & Girls Club, Ohio elementary students and Capital Kids
- The Get a Kick Out of Reading summer reading program, which had more than 500 participants
- Matt Lampson’s work as spokesperson for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) of Central Ohio and Co-Chair for their 15th Annual Light The Night Walk and work with the LLS Hero program, welcoming their family and after each home match, meeting with them on the field, taking photos and signing autographs for them
- Thanksgiving dinner delivery to 10 local families
- Players & Staff Holiday volunteer partnership with The Salvation Army
More information on the club’s community efforts is available at TheCrew.com/DareToCare.
ABOUT DARE TO CARE
Dare to Care is the Columbus Crew’s community platform and commitment to making a positive impact focused primarily in Central Ohio. With a particular focus on serving challenged youth, encouraging healthy and positive lifestyles, honoring the military and keeping Columbus beautiful, Dare to Care creates opportunities for Crew players, coaches, staff and fans to play an important role in giving back to the community in meaningful ways. More information on the club’s community efforts is available at TheCrew.com/DareToCare.