CHICAGO (Oct. 15, 2020) – The Chicago Fire Foundation, the charitable arm of the Chicago Fire Football Club, today announced the launch of its first-ever virtual fundraiser, “RAISE for P.L.A.Y.S.“
Shifting from an in-person gala to a virtual fundraising event due to the coronavirus pandemic, “RAISE for P.L.A.Y.S.” will take place Saturday, Oct. 24 at 6:30 p.m. CT during the broadcast of the Chicago Fire’s home match against the New York Red Bulls at Soldier Field on WGN-TV and ESPN+. The match will be presented by CIBC, the official banking partner of the Chicago Fire Football Club, and will be dedicated to celebrating the Chicago community and raising awareness and resources to fuel the Foundation’s sports-based youth and direct-service programs in our City’s most under-resourced communities.
Proceeds will benefit the Fire Foundation’s award-winning P.L.A.Y.S. (Participate, Learn, Achieve, Youth, Soccer) Program, which aims to enhance the academic performance and development of key social and emotional (SEL) skills of elementary school students through a sports-based curriculum.
Throughout the game broadcast, the unique fundraising format will feature stories of the many lives touched through the Foundation’s programs and the ways fans across Chicago can lend support. Chicago Fire players, coaches and staff, along with special guest Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot will shine a spotlight on the expansive P.L.A.Y.S. Program and the Club’s commitment to serving Chicago and creating safe places for kids to play.
Leading up to the special broadcast on Oct. 24, the Foundation will begin their “Week of Giving.” Throughout the week, the Foundation will have special daily raffles with fantastic Chicago Fire FC prizes and experiences, culminating with a grand prize raffle drawing that will take place during the broadcast at 8:00 p.m. CT. The “Once-in-a-Lifetime” grand prize is valued at $5,000 and includes a Chicago Fire FC matchday experience with six tickets to a 2021 Fire match at Soldier Field, locker room tour, visit to the broadcast booth, post-game meet and greet with Fire players, and more.
Tickets to the virtual raffle can be purchased here with prices starting at $25 for one ticket or can be purchased by texting PLAYS to 76278
The signature program of the Fire Foundation, P.L.A.Y.S. is helping to change the trajectory of underserved youth in Chicago through innovative and enriching sports-based programming. Recognizing two major voids within the Chicago community, P.L.A.Y.S. was created to address the lack of after-school programming and the need to improve academic performance in Chicago Public Schools. Through a soccer and SEL based curriculum, program participants engage in five out-of-school hours per week over 10 weeks and participate in three game days. P.L.A.Y.S. has engaged more than 4,000 students since the inception of the program in 2013.
Additional information on the Chicago Fire Foundation can be found by clicking here.