On Tuesday, the Dynamo and Dynamo Charities, presented by Halliburton, kicked off the Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring program at Rusk Elementary School in Houston's East End.
The program was funded through fan donations as well as through Calen Carr's "Big Play" campaign, which included a celebrity bowling event last October. The initiatives combined to raised more than $5,000 to jump-start the mentoring program. Mentors included Dynamo forward Calen Carr, team president Chris Canetti as well as 15 members of the Dynamo front office.
“We’ve got a lot of people from the Dynamo front office who have really gotten behind (this initiative), and we’re looking to keep the momentum going at this point," Carr said. "The impact we’ve been able to have on Rusk Elementary has been huge just in the short time that we’ve been here. It has been a fun and rewarding experience coming in here every week. I have a good time with my little brother. We hang out, play board games...he usually destroys me at “Connect 4”, but I’m working on it. I think this is a good imprint for the Dynamo and really good for the community as well.”
As a result of these efforts, Big Brothers Big Sisters named the Houston Dynamo its 2013 Community Partner of the Year.
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What a bittersweet week for Dynamo Charities. Sweet in the sense we had a great board meeting finishing up the plans for our wonderful events and programs for 2013. Bitter in that this week includes the last day for our executive director, Lori Ginsburg. Lori has been with us since day one, and has been the energy, commitment and drive behind Dynamo Charities growth since 2008. While we understand her decision, we will miss her spirit and can do attitude. Best wishes to you Lori!
On to our 2013 events. We are about a week away from the annual Fire Sale, part of the Meet the Team day at BBVA Compass Stadium on March 9. We will have lots of reasonably priced Dynamo and adidas merchandise available. This is a private season ticket holder event only, another great reason to join me as a Dynamo Season Ticket Holder. (With Opening Day this Saturday, get your tickets now.) For those veterans of the Fire Sale, note that we will have bags this year generously donated by Kroger’s.
At the Fire Sale we will be providing information on our upcoming event with Dynamo Sidekicks – a picnic style Dine with the Dynamo set for April 16. More information will also be on the website soon, but mark your calendars now.
The annual American Diabetes Association Houston Tour de Cure bike ride will be held Saturday, September 21. Dynamo Charities and Houston Dynamo are again sponsoring a ride team. You can bike as little as 10 miles or an amazing 100 miles, or somewhere in between – and if you join our team and raise at least $150, you get, by far, the coolest bike jersey in town. Our goal is 200 riders and $75,000 raised. You can sign up today and start raising money at: www.diabetes.org/houstontourdecure. From the site you can register to ride with us, or I would appreciate your support if you would consider a donation. Dynamo senior director of corporate development Bryan Kraham is the lead for the Dynamo bike team. Please contact him if you would like to sponsor us and be part of the coolest bike jersey around.
If you have questions on Dynamo Charities, all board members wear the Space City blue polos to games (as I am modelling above), so find us and ask. A list of current board members can be found at http://www.houstondynamo.com/charities/board. Look forward to seeing you on Opening Day.
As the year goes on, I will use this blog to give you a heads up for our events. Please check back on a regular basis and follow me on Twitter @DynamoChrtyTony.
Rusk Elementary School, a school in Houston's East End that has been adopted by the Houston Dynamo, saw the latest addition to its library arrive on Wednesday.
Last year, the Houston Dynamo donated the funds to upgrade the nook in the library as part of the Building a Better Mind program, presented by BBVA Compass.
On Wednesday, the nook saw the addition of a new area rug. The rug was donated by The Oriental Rug Gallery and Room ReDo Interior Design.
The Houston Dynamo would like to thank all of our partners as we continue to help the youth in our community and build a better Houston.
Welcome to my new blog on all things Dynamo Charities. Throughout the year, I will provide updates and information on Dynamo Charities events and happenings.
Before I talk about our 2013 program, let me take a minute to wrap up 2012. We ended the year with the annual Dynamo Celebration, and what a perfect end it was to a near perfect season. Held at the Hotel Zaza, the event was simply fantastic. Glenn Davis did a marvelous job as emcee, the auction went well and everyone had a great time. It was THE event to cap the year for Dynamo Charities.
Other notable events last year included Calen Carr's bowling event at 300 Houston, Will Bruin's Bald is Beautiful head-shaving event, fighting breast cancer with Bobby Boswell, the Kroger shopping spree with Brian and the Ching's Champions and our annual salute to the military with Brad’s Brigade. I want to thank all the players for their work in 2012, as well as each of you that supported one or more of our events. 2012 was our most successful year yet, and the Dynamo Charities Board of Directors along with Executive Director Lori Ginsburg are excited for 2013.
We will have all of the fan favorite events back in 2013. Our first event for the year will again be the Fire Sale, where lots of Dynamo gear from last season will be available generally at discounted prices. The sale will be held the same day as our annual Meet the Team Day, and is open only to season ticket holders. So if the play on the field or the fantastic stadium is not reason enough to be a season ticket holder, then Meet the Team Day and the Fire Sale should be!
As we move into the season, we will announce specific information for initiatives such as Brad’s Brigade, Bald is Beautiful and Bobby Boots Cancer. We are also hoping to have a few new initiatives this year and we hope to release full details soon
In September, we will again form a team to ride in the ADA Tour de Cure (with the coolest bike jersey you'll find) and we will of course end the year with Dynamo Celebration
Thanks for taking the time to read my first blog. I hope to provide regular community updates throughout the year. You can also follow me on Twitter @dynamochrtytony for up-to-date information on Dynamo Charities initiatives.
We look forward to taking another step forward in 2013, and with your support, we can make a big impact in the Houston community.
Thanks for your help!
Over the past four years, Dynamo Charities, presented by The Halliburton Charitable Foundation, has parterned with the Teammates for Kids foundation to fund various initiatives in the Houston community. Originally founded by country music star Garth Brooks, Teammates for Kids focuses on helping children in the areas of health, education, and inner-city outreach.
Each year, Teammates donates a grant to Dynamo Charities. That money has been put toward projects including Soccer for Success, Big Brother Big Sister mentoring programs as well as Soccer Night in Newtown.
Why are we talking about this partnership now? Because from now until January 18, Garth Brooks will donate $1 to the foundation for every new follower to the @Teammates4Kids Twitter account.
Brian Ching did it and so should you!
— Brian Ching (@brianching) January 13, 2013
In case you missed it, Dynamo players Brian Ching, Corey Ashe, Ricardo Clark and Cam Weaver joined more than 40 current and former professional players for Soccer Night in Newtown, a community event designed to help the residents of Newtown cope following the recent tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Here is a report that ESPN's Bob Ley did on the event.
On Wednesday, Brian Ching and Kroger honored the eight members of the Houston community who were chosen as Ching's Champions. The Ching's Champions initiative was started by Ching and Kroger as a way to pay tribute to those members of the Houston community who are perfoming selfless acts and asking for little in return.
Ching and Kroger selected the eight champions from the group of nominees. Each winner received a Ching's Champions medal and a four-minute shopping spree at Kroger. In total, the eight teams collected more than $7,700 worth of groceries.
Marvin Marcia - Active volunteer in his church, at the Boys and Girls club of America, local food banks and other local charitable organizations throughout the Houston area.
Susan Leining - Raised more than $20,000 over the past five years for The Snowdrop Foundation through her annual Chelsey's 5K Run.
Emily Newsome - Serves as a leader of Community Cloth, a micro-lending organization in Houston that helps refugee women create arts and crafts that they can sell to help support their families.
Gina and Mike Dockal - Started Zoey's Angels, which was founded to bring comfort to families who lose an infant child after a lengthy struggle in the hospital.
Steven David - Raises money and awareness for the Snowdrop Foundation, an organization dedicated to the fight against childhood cancer.
Gary Coffman - Organizes an annual food drive around the holiday season, which provided food for more than 150 families last year.
Renita Sheppard - Captain of Nita's Forget-Me-Nots, a walk team started in 2003 to help promote awareness and raise funds for the Alzheimer's Association.
Jim and Debbie Abney - Raised more than $14,000 for Sammy's Supporters, a benefit to assist with the medical costs for a local family whose son was recently diagnosed with leukemia.
Last Saturday, the Houston Dynamo and KPRC Local 2 kicked off their new partnership with a 30-minute feature titled "The New Home of the Dynamo." The feature was the first of a series of monthly TV shows on KPRC dedicated to Dynamo news, on and off the pitch. The first episode was scheduled to air at 5 p.m. CT, but due to a double-overtime hockey game, the start time was pushed back until 6:30 p.m. For those that were able to watch the show at home, we hope you enjoyed and look forward to hearing your feedback. For those that were not able to catch it, KPRC was kind enough to post it on their website.
The first episode featured interviews with Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear and the voice of the Dynamo, Glenn Davis. Randy McIlvoy also went inside BBVA Compass Stadium with Brian Ching and Brad Davis and took a look at a series of community initiatives called Building a Better Houston presented by BBVA Compass.
Most importantly, Dynamo fans got their first look at a series of promos shot with Davis, Ching and Dynamo defender Bobby Boswell and Geoff Cameron. Trust me, these are things you do not want to miss.