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.
Take a look back at Wednesday's annual Bald Is Beautiful event, hosted by Dynamo Charities.
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.
This weekend, you'll notice a streak of black on the Dynamo's orange and white kits as they face the Vancouver Whitecaps.
All Dynamo players and coaches, along with teams around the league, will be wearing a black armband on Saturday in honor of former MLS player Shawn Kuykendall, who recently passed away after his battle with an extremely rare form of Thymic Carcinoma. Shawn's wish was that his story could in some way help future cancer patients, specifically those fighting pediatric cancer. Thus, The Kuykenstrong Foundation was created to help the families of pediatric cancer patients.
The black armbands, which feature The Kuykenstrong Foundation and Soccer Kicks Cancer logos, recognize Shawn and this enduring legacy that he leaves behind.
Eric Brunner and Warren Creavalle took to the streets of Houston in the all-new custom Dynamo Mazda 6 for 2014. They delivered season tickets to 2014 Forever Orange Membership Club members.
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!
Tony Nolte is a community member that uses soccer to make a difference in Houston. Not only does Tony attend every home Dynamo game, he is also the current chairman of Dynamo Charities and has not missed an event since 2009. He has dedicated everything he has to help the Houston Dynamo make a positive impact on its community, including creating the annual Dynamo fire sale, which raised $100,000 for Dynamo Charities. He has also shaved his head to support the Bald is Beautiful for Curing Children's Cancer fund and rode in the Tour de Cure helping raise funds and awareness for diabetes research.
Tony Nolte is the epitome of Dynamo Charities and their commitment to the Houston Community. VOTE FOR HIM HERE
If he wins, he will receive a $10,000 donation to the charity of his choice and a trip to the 2013 AT&T MLS All-Star Game at Sporting Park. The grand prize winner will be announced on Monday, July 15 on Twitter @MLSWORKS and at www.mlssoccer.com/communitymvp
The Houston Dynamo showed their support for the fallen firefighters of stations 51 and 68 last week by visiting both stations. The team participated in drills, talked with the firefighters and offered them tickets to the Dynamo's upcoming home game this Saturday, June 22 vs. Toronto FC.
The game is dedicated to the firefighters who lost their lives in the May 31 fire. Fans can show their support by purchasing a special ticket package, with proceeds benefitting the 100 Club Survivors Fund.
Two weeks ago, Dynamo president Chris Canetti and former Dynamo center back Eddie Robinson traveled to Newtown for the second edition of Soccer Night in Newtown. Check out this piece from MSG about the event.