The Houston Dynamo have joined Houston City Council Member James Rodriguez’s fight to keep youth soccer alive in Houston’s East End, the club announced today at a press conference at City Hall. The Dynamo and their charitable branch, Dynamo Charities, have committed to raising $65,000 to support youth soccer programs in the East End which were set to be canceled due to budget constraints.
"My constituents spoke, I listened, and our champion Houston Dynamo are helping us deliver. I am honored to not only commit a portion of my budget, but to partner with our Dynamo to keep the Milby Youth Soccer Program alive. This program is vital to our youth and the role they will play in our community. I commend our Dynamo and friends for making this crucial goal and continuing to establish themselves as great East End neighbors”, Council Member Rodriguez stated.
To kick off the fundraising, donations were announced Tuesday from both the Dynamo and Dynamo Charities and club sponsors Greenstar Recycling, Dr Pepper, and Wells Fargo. Additional funds will be raised through the Dynamo Charities 5K and Fun Run on Saturday, July 16.
The third annual Dynamo Charities Cup, featuring the Dynamo against English Premier League club Bolton Wanderers, the club of former Houston youth and Houston Dynamo player Stuart Holden, will take place on July 20 at Robertson Stadium. A portion of the proceeds will go toward sustaining the youth soccer programs in the East End, run by the Houston Parks & Recreation Department.
“We feel a sense of obligation in supporting this initiative and successfully assisting Councilmember Rodriguez in securing the necessary funds for keeping soccer alive in the East End,” said Dynamo President Chris Canetti. “Soccer provides many great benefits to children, and we need to make sure those benefits are not taken away from them.”
More than 1,300 youth players aged 4-17 participate annually in soccer leagues in the East End, with games and practices held at Ingrando, Mason, and Milby parks. As part of the Houston Parks & Recreation Department soccer leagues throughout the city, the programs are completely free and, over a history of nearly 50 years, have produced several talented players that have gone on to play soccer at the collegiate and professional levels.
“When the Dynamo heard that there was a need, they stepped up to the ball and came up with a winning GOAL!”, said Joe Turner, Director of the Houston Parks and Recreation Department. “We are very thankful to the Dynamo, Dynamo Charities and Council Member James Rodriguez for supporting youth soccer and making a difference.”
Those interested in contributing directly to the campaign can contact Dynamo Charities director Lori Ginsburg at lginsburg@HoustonDynamo.com or by calling (713) 276-7574.