Top 20 Moments of the Decade | #15: The Launch of The Victory Project

Over the last 10 years, few professional sports franchises have experienced a more transformational journey than Sporting Kansas City. From Wizards to Sporting, from minor league baseball park to world-class soccer stadium, from MLS afterthought to perennial title contender, the 2010s ushered in a Kansas City soccer renaissance as Sporting enjoyed a meteoric rise both on and off the pitch.
Throughout this decade of success, everyone tied to the club—from players and coaches to owners and fans—made priceless memories that will last a lifetime. As the 2010s come to a close, is counting down the top 20 moments of the decade. The daily series will run from Dec. 12-31, looking back on the biggest matches, announcements and off-the-field developments that left lasting impacts on the club. The top 20 list was determined through voting among front office associates at Sporting. Click here to visit the top 20 as it unfolds.

It goes without saying that Sporting Kansas City has impacted the lives of countless fans, players and coaches since its inception as an original member of Major League Soccer in 1996. What may not be so evident to the masses, however, is Sporting's philanthropic role in the Kansas City community and the Midwest region.

Perhaps the greatest example of this club pillar is The Victory Project, an initiative Sporting founded six years ago that unites players, staff and fans to help children and families fighting cancer and other serious challenges.

Sporting officially launched The Victory Project on April 5, 2013. Since then, the club has built hundreds of cherished relationships with children and families affected by cancer or faced with hardships that are too difficult to overcome alone. The endeavor is highlighted by Sporting player visits at Children's Mercy Hospital, community appearances across the metro, dozens of soccer-centric and kid-friendly clinics, major fundraisers and more.

In addition to raising over $2 million to date for kids undergoing cancer treatment, The Victory Project has shared memories with over 130 Victory Project honorees—special guests who are invited to Children’s Mercy Park alongside their family for an unforgettable experience at every Sporting home match. Honorees are treated to a Sporting training visit the day before the game, interacting with club players and coaches, before receiving a VIP treatment on matchdays.

Another major component of The Victory Project’s programming is a platform called Sporting Wishes. Every year, around 20 families in Kansas City receive the news that their child’s cancer has returned. Once a secondary cancer diagnosis is confirmed, the Sporting Wishes program grants these families a special wish—and for many, it is the child’s last wish. The Victory Project will grant 22 Sporting Wishes by the end of 2019.

As the club prepares to launch into the next decade, Sporting will continue to champion The Victory Project as its leading philanthropic cause. And with every remarkable success story comes an origin. For The Victory Project, that origin in April 5, 2013 — the No. 15 moment on our countdown.