Sporting Kansas City and The Victory Project, the club’s philanthropic foundation dedicated to impacting the lives of children with cancer, will join forces with MLS WORKS and Continental Tire in September to raise awareness and funds during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
The seventh annual Kick Childhood Cancer campaign will see Sporting Kansas City and The Victory Project participate in several initiatives as part of a league-wide aim to strengthen research efforts to find cures for all types of childhood cancer and provide support to one of the most vulnerable populations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the forefront, The Victory Project will continue its longstanding tradition of honoring a child battling cancer at every September home match at Children’s Mercy Park. The VIP experience for each child consists of a visit to Sporting Kansas City training the day before the game, an overnight stay at Great Wolf Lodge and a comprehensive matchday experience in the stadium’s Victory Suite.
Sporting and The Victory Project will begin the month by partnering with Community Blood Center for a two-day blood drive at Children’s Mercy Park from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. All donors will receive a co-branded face covering to further support public health and can make an appointment online by visiting savealifenow.org/group and entering Group Code: CB8D or calling 1-877-468-6844.
Fans can also visit victorykc.org/5050 through the end of September to participate in the Kick Childhood Cancer 50/50 raffle. One winning contestant will receive half of the net proceeds, while the other half will go to The Victory Project.
A variety of Kick Childhood Cancer retail items will be available at Sporting Kansas City home matches in September, including limited-time scarves and beanies. For every beanie sold, a beanie will be donated to Children’s Mercy, where Sporting will also deliver care kits for families courtesy of Continental Tire. Sporting players will continue to conduct virtual visits with Children’s Mercy patients, while patients may utilize Rex the Robot for further interactions with the team.
Additionally, The Victory Project's Sporting Wishes program, which fulfills wishes for children who relapse or are diagnosed with a secondary cancer, will grant the wish of an 11-year-old in Kansas with Rhabdomyosarcoma by unveiling her own tiny home in her family's backyard.
On the field, the Kick Childhood Cancer campaign will feature a commemorative gold ribbon on the adidas 2020 MLS Nativo XXV Official Match Ball to be used during all matches, as well as gold corner flags and goal nets. Kick Childhood Cancer gold captain’s armbands and gold ribbon jersey patches will be worn by the players, while technical staff will don Kick Childhood Cancer pins and PRO referees will sport gold wristbands.
At the league level, MLS and Continental Tire will partner with MLS clubs to “surprise and delight” pediatric cancer patients and health care providers with unique experiences and acts of kindness throughout the month of September. Continental Tire will donate sets of tires to patient families and hospital workers in each of the 26 MLS club markets to help offset the financial burden associated with driving to and from treatments and appointments.
Fans are encouraged to support the league-wide campaign by submitting ‘Messages of Hope’ using #KickChildhoodCancer on social media channels. Continental Tire will donate $25 to fund pediatric cancer research (up to $50,000) during the month of September for every post that uses the hashtag. Fan-generated ‘Messages of Hope’ will be used to produce club-customized blankets and scarves that will be distributed to pediatric cancer patients during the holiday season.
A holiday auction will provide another fundraising opportunity later this year to benefit The Children’s Oncology Group. Auction items will consist of game-used, autographed jerseys and soccer balls from September 2020 matches and other items donated by Continental Tire. The Children’s Oncology Group is the world’s largest organization devoted exclusively to childhood and adolescent cancer research, uniting more than 10,000 experts in childhood cancer at more than 200 leading children’s hospitals around the world.