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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com.
At the Dynamo, we are proud of our commitment to help the Houston community through a varity of charitable initiatives. Many of the initiatives are driven by the organization, while some are driven by the passion of our players. Regardless of the cause, Dynamo fans are always willing to chip with their time or a dollar and we can't thank them enough.
With that said, we are thrilled to see that one of our supporters groups, Texian Army, will be hosting a bake sale before Sunday's game to raise money for the first responders in West, Texas. 100% of the funds raised will go toward the Abbott Volunteer Fire Department, which lost three members in the fire and 11 more volunteers remain hospitalized.
This is a great cause and we urge all Dynamo fans to stop by the Texian Army tailgate in Lot C before the game and purchase a baked good or just donate to the cause.
Check out the Texian Army Facebook page for more information about this great event.
Thanks for your support and go Dynamo!
The Houston Dynamo will be honoring first responders at Sunday's game for their bravery in the wake of recent tragedies as well as for the courageous duties they perform on a daily basis. Dynamo defenders Corey Ashe and Mike Chabala and goalkeeper Tally Hall recorded this message as a token of our appreciation.