Last week was truly incredible, and I am so proud to have been a small part of all we did in the Houston community as lead in to the BBVA Compass Dynamo Charities Cup—#DCWeek.
We started off Wednesday night at Bowlmor for Dynamo Strikes benefitting Big Brothers Big Sisters. We filled twelve lanes with expert Big and Little bowlers (and Dynamo and Dash players). With Eddie Robinson as emcee, the night was filled with strikes, spares, a few gutterballs, some dancing and most of all a lot of fun.
Thursday we were at Fonde Recreation Center near Downtown for the Houston Fireballs versus Dynamo/Dash Power Soccer Match. Power Soccer is played in powered wheel chairs. The chairs are not that easy to handle, as I found out just trying to drive one from one side of the gym to the other. Our players found that out as well, as the first half was a rout, with the Fireballs going up 4-0. The second half was a closer battle, with both teams scoring just once for 5-1 final. Both teams had a lot of fun and both played hard. The Fireballs earned their trophy—congratulations to them!
On Friday we were at Neighborhood Center—Ripley House in EaDo for a Literacy Event with BBVA Compass volunteers and Aston Villa and Dynamo players. What a wonderful sight to see the kids gather around to listen and participate in the story. The Aston Villa and Dynamo players were good sports, answering all the kids questions and signing shirts—after it was confirmed that it was okay for the adults to write on the t-shirts.
Saturday night was the game, the highlight of the week. Thank you to all the fans that came out during the week, whether to support the Dynamo, Aston Villa or Dynamo Charities. Thanks to your participation we are able to give back to the Houston community through these events and programs.
Next up we have our Fire Sale on August 19th as part of Meet the Team Day—this year it’s indoors at Dave and Buster’s on Richmond. On the first week of September we invite you to join us for Will’s Fur-Ever Friends week of events benefiting Houston SPCA with Will Bruin (and Molly of course). Immediately following that in mid-September we’re asking everyone to join Team Dynamo for Tour de Cure Houston. If you join the team and are one of the first 200 members to raise the minimum of $250 you get an appreciation gift from us in the form of the official 2014 Team Dynamo jersey. This is definitely a collectors item. To register for the team please visit our page.
Follow us on Twitter (@dynamocharities / @dynamochrtytony) or Facebook to stay up to date on all Dynamo Charities events and programs.
Wow, what a fantastic World Cup so far for the U.S.A. and for our friend Brad “Bradzil” Davis. For the first time ever, the U.S. qualified for the knockout stage for the second consecutive World Cup, and for the first time ever, a Houston Dynamo player started for the US in a World Cup game. Fantastic.
We at Dynamo Charities are right there with the team – combining with the Houston SPCA on “World Pup”, hosting viewing parties to collect toys for B.I.G. Love Cancer Care, working with Tommy Bahama’s Woodlands and Woodlands Shooting Stars Special Olympics for the Ninth Annual Island Cowboy Classic Golf Tournament just this past Monday.
In addition to more viewing parties, the next big Dynamo Charities event is the annual Armed Forces Appreciation Night supporting Brad and Tally’s Banded Brigade. You can purchase and donate tickets to the event here that come with the official Banded Brigade tshirt as a thank you – plus everlasting thanks from those service men and women that get to attend the Dynamo game due to your generosity. You also have the ability to bid on signed items from Brad and Tally – including Brad’s U.S. Men’s National Team Centennial Jersey – autographed by the World Cup man himself. The auction is open now, bid at auctions.houstondynamo.com.
Dynamo Charities and Brian Ching dedicated the second House that Ching Built on June 20th for the Garcia-Andrade family. We are only a few thousand dollars away from having raised enough money for a third House that Ching Built Habitat for Humanity house – we WILL raise the needed money and are planning to do the next one in early 2015. We also combined with BBVA Compass and the Houston Dash for a Build a Better Houston project along with Rebuilding Together Houston. And our annual Bald is Beautiful event meant lovely hairdos for several of the players and Theron Enns, the Dynamo athletic trainer, as well as yours truly. We did not break the world record at the shave event at the game, but next year….
Lastly for now, we have the annual BBVA Compass Dynamo Charities Cup on Saturday July 26th against Aston Villa, an English club with a very long history. Villa recently signed Joe Cole, a past England international player, and will prove a good test for the Dynamo. Tickets are available now, and we will be announcing some Dynamo Charities events leading into the match as well.
On Tuesday night, I was lucky enough to be at the 2014 Shell Legacy Award dinner and see a true Houston community hero—and a friend—honored in Brian Ching. If you don’t know about the Shell Legacy Award, it was established in 2008 and recognizes and honors individuals who have greatly impacted and improved the local community. Past recipients include former First Lady Barbara Bush, former Secretary of State James Baker III, former Dallas Cowboy and Football Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith (who sat at Brian’s table last night) and former Heavyweight Champion George Foreman.
Dynamo President Chris Canetti and the first House that Ching Built recipient Teresa Urbano spoke about Brian’s commitment and dedication to making Houston a better place. Chris touched on his accomplishments on and off the field (which are many), and Teresa really brought a personal viewpoint to all Brian has achieved in the community.
The one area where Brian really excelled was around setting the tone in the Dynamo locker room. Not only did he tell his teammates how important it is to give back to the community, he went out and led the way for him. A true leader is one who can talk the talk and then back it up personally by walking the walk. Through his work with Recipe for Success, Habitat for Humanity, Ching’s Champions, Building a Better Houston and visiting kids, taking pictures, giving autographs, etc., Brian showed his teammates what it truly means to be part of the Houston community. I think he said it best last night: “Neighbors helping neighbors—that’s what it is all about.”
We at Dynamo Charities are so glad that we have had the chance to work with Brian—and will continue to work with him to do a third House that Ching Built next year. Thanks to the donation tied to the Shell Legacy Award and additional money that Dynamo Charities has raised, we are only a few thousand dollars short of accomplishing that goal. Get involved—help us get there and then help build the house next year.
And the best news of all: Brian is still with the organization, still using his time and effort to truly Build a Better Houston.
Oh what a year…
First off I want to express my thanks and appreciation to all those that helped make 2013 the best year yet for Dynamo Charities—with a very special thank you to Nancy and Tom who have elected to leave the board after many years of strong service. We miss you already, but know that you are still supporting us and the Houston community in many ways.
2014 is going to be, well, awesome! We can still use volunteers for next week’s House that Ching Built. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and you will get specific information on how to register. We really need support Monday through Thursday (Friday and Saturday are full). Thanks to those that have committed to help! Come support Brian as he and his many friends build a second Habitat for Humanity house.
Still want more to make 2014 awesome … okay. Want to play golf and have a fantastic Tommy Bahama dinner? April seems like a good month for that. Need a haircut? I am thinking May is perfect timing to get a real short haircut to prepare for the usual Houston summer heat. June and July includes the World Cup from Brazil (and we all know who will win it, we probably just don’t all agree on the same who…) and Dynamo Charities will again bring you Brad and Tally’s Banded Brigade and our annual BBVA Compass Dynamo Charities Cup game. In August, you will find out the name of Will Bruin’s puppy! September is usually a great time to come ride your bikes with us and October you can help Soccer Kick Cancer! We will provide more details around dates and times, and we will have additional events and even some surprises as we get further into the year. You may also catch more information on our events on The Pulp; stay tuned…
I need to ask something of you. Dynamo Charities need you to #GetInvolved. Whether it be by participating in an event, volunteering for an event or sponsoring an event, we can do so much more for the Houston community when you (the Dynamo faithful) step up and #GetInvolved. We also ask that you get your friends and family involved. Coming out to ride with us, bring your son or daughter and ride the 10 mile route. Coming to a celebrity pour, bring your office mates. We will soon announce how to let us know that you are interested in volunteering, and then we will provide you opportunities to help us give back to the Houston community. If you or your company are interested in sponsoring a particular event by partnering with Dynamo Charities, please drop me an email at email@example.com
So here we go! Come join us, come make this year your year to #GetInvolved!
Wow, another year of hard work and great results in the community is slowly coming to a close. One more chance to say thank you to Brian Ching on December 13th at his testimonial match (still did not get an invitation to play … maybe Matt wants me for color commentary ….)—tickets still available and remember proceeds go to the House that Ching Built—a Habitat for Humanity project led by the man himself.
I am so proud of the accomplishments of the Dynamo Charities Board in 2013 with tremendous help from Maria Duran, the Sidekicks, and the Dynamo office staff.
We started with the best ever Fire Sale in the history of Fire Sales – and with a team led by the 2013 Forever Orange Award winner Rob Denton (well done, welcome to the Club) and Frank Arnold, and (finally) having bags, we almost doubled our sales from 2012!
Our Dine with the Dynamo led by the Sidekicks was a sellout and raised funds for Community Family Center’s soccer field (we hope to have the grand opening of the field early in 2014). Brad Davis and Tally Hall brought a record number of service personnel to the July 3rd game. Will Bruin and Mike Chabala had their friends come let the kids shave their heads (and Salon on Kirby did just a bit of cleanup work). Bobby Boswell booted breast cancer. Andrew Driver showed us what golf attire really is at the Tommy Bahama Island Classic.
We were the top corporate fundraiser (again) for ADA Tour de Cure, even though the rain cancelled the actual ride. Brian Ching recognized some of the many community champions that are also Dynamo fans through Ching’s Champions. The runners got to go through the stadium for the Go for the Goal 5k—and PWC donated $750 for each home goal to Ronald McDonald house. We even had Diesel step up for the Toy Chest; everyone pitched in this year. In addition to the recognized events, many of the players went to visit hospitals and fire stations and community centers and schools and are Big Brothers.
Thank you to everyone who participated in, donated to, was part of, and/or somehow contributed to our events this year—we hope you will be back with us in 2014. If you have specific comments on how you believe our events could be improved (please be both polite and detailed), please drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org I will read them, and we will use the good ideas you provide—this is your chance to help us be greater in 2014!
Special thank you to the University of Houston Bauer College and Dr. Patrick’s marketing classes for their presentations and ideas—we will definitely be looking at them for 2014.
Lastly, every season brings changes to the roster—a big thank you to those players that will no longer be part of the organization next year. You make us at Dynamo Charities what we are—and if we can ever help you out in anyway, please let us know.
We are Dynamo Charities, proud and thankful to be sponsored by Halliburton Charitable Foundation.
For the men on the field, it is #Push4Playoffs time. For us at Dynamo Charities, we are also working hard off the field. We still have several upcoming events where we need your help to make this our best year ever.
Our 2013 Ching’s Champions were honored earlier this week with a 250 second shopping spree at Kroger’s. This year’s community heroes are David Murphy, Michael Miller, Angela Wrigglesworth, Kevin Kline and Elsy Espinoza-Sandoval. Congratulations from all of us at Dynamo Charities and thank you so very much for all you do for the Houston community. More information on the champions and the event here.
If we were allowed, we would nominate Brian Ching as a Champion. Brian announced his retirement from on the field activities, but he will still be working with us off the field and in the community. The team will honor him with a testimonial match on December 13. All proceeds from the match will benefit The House that Ching Built, a Habitat for Humanity project led by Brian. I bought my tickets (since my invitation to play must be in the mail still)—get yours and/or donate to the project at HoustonDynamo.com/ChingTestimonial.
We are rolling out a new event next Wednesday at the Sporting Kansas City game. We ask all attending fans to donate a new toy ($10 or under) to fill up Diesel’s Toy Chest. Drop off boxes will be located at each entrance to the stadium as well as in Soccer Fest. The collected toys will be taken by B.I.G. Love to Houston hospitals where children can pick a toy out of the chest after their cancer treatment. More information and a special ticket package at Houstondynamo.com/charities/dieselstoychest.
On what we just know will be a lovely fall morning, we will hold the 2013 Go for Goal 5k and Diesel Fun Run. November 2 is the date of the short run around BBVA Compass Stadium. We expect to have lots of fun during and after the event, including Diesel’s Kids Zone and a Dynamo Charities Garage Sale—details on that coming soon. To participate, register at Houstondynamo.com/charities/goforgoal.
We want to thank our Tour de Cure sponsors Halliburton, Novo Nordisk, K-Pop Restaurant and Camelot Realty Group, as well as our partner Bicycle World. The weatherman was against us, and the ride was cancelled for safety reasons. However, our awesome rider group was the top corporate fundraiser for the event, collecting over $60,000 in donations to American Diabetes Association. Well done!
Last, but not least, a very big, huge thank you to Halliburton for the donation from their 2013 Charity Golf Tournament. We promise to spend it wisely to continue our efforts to Build a Better Houston!
What a fantastic atmosphere at soccer fest on Saturday! Although we did not quite break the world record for head shaves in an hour, we did give it a run and had a blast. Salon on Kirby provided the shavers and 132 new friends provided the heads. The final shave of the day was a big one for Curing Children’s Cancer Fund. Alden from Salon on Kirby offered a $1,000 donation if a lady would shave, and Susan Leining said "let’s do it!". Others stepped up with additional donations, taking the total for one shave over the $1,500 mark! We are already working on next year—we will break the world record, just need a little more of your help (and heads…)
Earlier in the week, Dogwood in Midtown hosted the player shave portion of Bald is Beautiful sponsored by BMC Software. Quite a few of our men in orange emerged with new ‘dos, and the kids had a great time shaving the heads (Thanks to Salon on Kirby for the “minor” touch ups on the players after the kids did their part.). No Label Brewery donated Dancing Bear 12, a beer brewed especially for Will Bruin and the Bald is Beautiful event, with all proceeds going to Curing Children’s Cancer Fund. Partial proceeds from all sales during the celebrity pour from 4–7 benefitted Bald is Beautiful as well—and Will Bruin bartends better than he dances…
Last year Susan Leining was nominated as a Ching’s Champion, as were Gina and Mike Dockal (founders of Zoey’s Angels). Do you know someone in the community who gives back more than they receive? If so, please nominate them for this year’s edition of Ching’s Champions. Nominations are accepted online at HoustonDynamo.com/Charities/ChingsChampions through September 4th.
You can still ride with us on September 21st at the Tour de Cure Houston by signing up to join the Houston Dynamo team sponsored by Novo Nordisk, Camelot Realty Group, K-Pop Restaurants and Halliburton. We are also partnering with Bicycle World. Note that the date for ordering bike jerseys is past, so if you join now, we ask that you wear your favorite Dynamo gear for the ride. Please join the team next year and qualify to get the coolest bike jersey ever. To join the team or make a donation on behalf of the Dynamo team, click here
And we are getting closer to announcing details around Adam’s Toy Chest—stay tuned.
A special thank you to board members Leslie Atkinson and Sanford Steinberg for their work on Bald is Beautiful—much of what they did was behind the scenes, but everyone that participated in the events benefitted greatly from their efforts.
Oh what a night…
I am so proud to be part of a organization that honors heroes of all sizes and ages. A small group of Dynamo Charities board members supported Chris Canetti for the second Soccer Night in Newtown in mid-May. Last month the fallen firefighters were honored at the stadium by the team, and, just as importantly, by the soccer community. And our last home match was Armed Forces Appreciation Night, where we brought over 1,500 service personnel to the game. It was also a very personal night for me as my father was the service man honored by the Dynamo at halftime for his 33 years of military service, starting as a private and retiring as a colonel. He and my mom were very touched by the warm applause from our fantastic fans.
Next up are the Potters from Stoke City Football Club! They have a strong squad including U.S. internationals Brek Shea and our friend Geoff Cameron, as well as German international Robert Huth, will be here July 24th. The BBVA Compass Dynamo Charities Cup is not just a game, it is a community event – and to that, we will be announcing more events leading up to the game soon. Come join us, get your tickets and really cool scarf now! And, you can actually be part of the festivities around the game, including ball delivery, coin toss, etc. Here is the link for details.
On August 13th, Chewy and Will (and hopefully many of their teammates) will let the kids shave their heads at Dogwood in Midtown. The doors of Dogwood will open to the public at 4 p.m. for a celebrity pour with proceeds benefitting Bald is Beautiful / Curing Children’s Cancer Fund. Then on Saturday, to top off our celebration of Bald is Beautiful, we are shooting to set a world record with 400 head shaves in one hour on Orange Avenue just prior to the August 17th game. More information and to register to be part of the world record attempt go here. Looking for youth soccer teams to step up here – you need haircuts for school anyway… .
We are also proud to announce our first four sponsors for the ADA Houston Tour de Cure bike jersey – Halliburton, Bicycle World, Camelot Realty Group and K-Pop restaurants. You can join the best team out there for the September 21st ride – remember that you have to raise at least $150 to get the coolest bike jersey in town. If you or your company want to be a sponsor for the jersey (good spots still available), contact Maria Duran at 713.276.7533.
Still to come in October is Adam’s Toy Chest benefitting B.I.G. Love (looking for the supporter groups in particular to jump on this one), and of course our annual Dynamo Celebration to cap off the season.
To close this edition, I would like to again thank the Dynamo players for their commitment to the community, for giving their time and literally the shirts off their back to improve the lives of all in the Houston area and beyond. While the Dynamo Charities board members work hard, we are nothing without the support and commitment of the players.
First off, the Dynamo Charities Board would like to welcome and introduce Maria Duran, who has recently accepted the role of Senior Manager for Dynamo Charities. Maria has been with the Dynamo organization in various capacities since day one, and we are thrilled to have her working with us.
With Maria's support and leadership, we put on two very successful events in the past month:
1. Dine with the Dynamo - The event was coordinated, run and made successful by the Dynamo Sidekicks. We raised more than $15,000, and more importantly, it was a fantastic, fun evening for all that came out. Check this video of the event.
2. Tommy Bahama Island Cowboy classic benefiting Dynamo Charities and Woodlands Shooting Stars Special Olympics - Several of your Dynamo players came out to enjoy a round of golf at the Woodlands TPC and a delicious dinner at the Tommy Bahama restaurant. Eddie Robinson MC'd the live auction which raised more than $22,000. Check out this video to see what you missed: Dynamo TV.
Aside from these past two events, we have some other great initiatives coming up that will raise significant money for our causes. First, the 2013 Dynamo Girls calendar, which was released yesterday. All proceeds benefit Dynamo Charities, so we strongly encourage fans to pick up a copy and help us support the various events we host on an annual basis. Calendars are only $10 and are in limited supply, so pre-order now at www.houstondynamo.com/DGCalendar. They will also be available at the May 18 game versus New England in the adidas Team Store and at our table in BBVA Compass Stadium. On Thursday, KPRC Local 2 came out to interview DG Melissa (the calendar cover girl) and me about the calendar release – if you saw what actually aired, you know they did excellent job editing… (I was really there, I tweeted a picture to prove it…)
We are also thrilled to announce that our old friend Geoff Cameron will be coming to town this summer for the BBVA Compass Dynamo Charities Cup match. Stoke City was recently announced as the opponent and it should be an exciting match with Geoff and former FC Dallas midfielder Brek Shea coming to town on July 24. This game is not in the season ticket package, so please get your tickets now. Proceeds from the game will go to Dynamo Charities for our work with Junior Achievement.
Houston Tour de Cure held their annual kickoff luncheon in the West Club at the stadium this week. For the third year, we have a team riding in the Tour (September 21 at AutoNation in Katy), and Chris Canetti is the Honorary Race Chairman this year. Register now to join the Dynamo team at (www.diabetes.org/houstontourdecure) AND raise at least $150 (but we would prefer $200) in order to get the coolest bike jersey. If your company is interested in being a jersey sponsor, contact Marc Vasquez at email@example.com or (713) 276-7592. The tour's goal is $1,000,000 this year and our team goal is $75,000. Make a difference.
Brad and Tally’s Brigade will again support the military on July 6, grow that hair out for our Bald is Beautiful event at the August 17 game (details coming on how we may be able to set a world record), and start collecting for Adam’s Toy Chest in September – more details on all of these as we get closer to the events.
Thank you to all those that have attended and supported our events so far this year, we hope to see all of you at one or more events throughout the rest of the year. You can follow me on Twitter at @dynamochrtytony or send comments/suggestions/questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What a fantastic start to 2013 for Dynamo Charities! The annual Fire Sale was a great success and with the support of Dynamo season ticket holders, we were able to raise more than $40,000 for Dynamo Charities initiatives throughout the year. A huge thanks to everyone who made the event a success, from the BBVA Compass Stadium staff to the volunteers to Kroger for donating the bags and all of our sponsors. More than 700 season ticket holders purchased Dynamo gear, but the event went smoothly and I could not be more happy. A big thank you to Dynamo Charities board member Rob Denton for getting us “squared” away on credit card readers.
At the Fire Sale, we also sold 50 seats for Dine with the Dynamo (or Picnic with the Players as I call it) set for April 16 at the stadium. Limited tickets remain, so I encourage everyone to act quickly. Seats can be purchased at www.houstondynamo.com/sidekicks. Proceeds from the event, along with funds from Rotary Club of Houston Skyline, will help fund a youth soccer field on the east side of downtown.
This week, we honored Calen Carr and the Dynamo staff for their work with Big Brothers Big Sisters. Many of the Dynamo front office have “littles” now at Rusk Elementary, and we all know it takes more than a knee injury to keep Calen from hanging out with his “little”.
Our sponsor, Halliburton Charitable Foundation, is offering an easy way for fans to raise money for Dynamo Charities. Halliburton will donate $5 for every "like" or "share" that we receive on this post. Please take two seconds to hit the button, so we can continue to put on great events in the Houston community.
We will soon announce details for your chance to golf at the TPC with some of the Dynamo players – hold your calendar for Monday, April 22 and look for information on how to register for the Tommy Bahama Golf Tournament.
Also, don’t forget Houston Tour de Cure on Saturday, September 21. You can sign up today and start raising money at: www.diabetes.org/houstontourdecure. Please contact Marc Vasquez if your company would like to sponsor us and have their logo be part of the coolest bike jersey in town.
In future blogs I'll share details on more great events including: Go for Goal 5K and Diesel Fun Run, when you can get a really good haircut (think just in time for school) and a new event where we will have a toy drive at the stadium.
Please check back for my next blog or follow me on Twitter (@dynamochrtytony) for more regular updates.