The Darol Rodrock Foundation and Rodrock Development want to extend a sincere thanks to Kansas City for helping area foster kids score big. Thanks to the generosity of some of the 19,835 attendees at the Sporting KC match against the Colorado Rapids on June 27, five bins were filled with donations. Not only did Sporting KC win—so did local children in foster care.
In a Foundation first, the Darol Rodrock Foundation helped host a Title Game Night as a perfect opportunity for families to have a fantastic time while also giving back. Soccer fans were encouraged to help area foster-care children by bringing donations and placing them in special bins strategically placed by the gates. Attendees were encouraged to bring clothes, shoes, back packs — little items that can make a big difference to kids in need.
And did soccer fans ever rise to the occasion! The Darol Rodrock Foundation received cash donations, gift cards to Target, suitcases, sheets, towels, pillows, toiletries, laundry baskets, school supplies, laundry supplies, and more — some five large bins full. And donations are still trickling in, all to benefit local foster-care children.
Darol Rodrock himself took to the field at halftime in a presentation that highlighted the needs of those in the foster-care system. A foster child himself, Rodrock understands all too well the challenges these youth face. It’s his greatest hope that the Kansas City community will rally around these kids in need and help ensure their lives are filled with hope and potential. And it’s a cause that Sporting KC has taken to heart, as well.
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“The game was such a thrilling time and an incredible opportunity to communicate the needs of children in the foster-care system,” Rodrock said. “I’ve never tossed a coin to start a game or spoken in front of so many people. But the experience was well worth it, because so many people chose to give back to these amazing kids. There are so many everyday items that we take for granted that can make such a huge difference in these kids’ lives.”
And it’s not the only way children in the foster-care system are benefiting this summer from the partnership between the Darol Rodrock Foundation, Rodrock Development and Sporting KC, either. A soccer camp was held especially for area kids within the system aged between 6 and 18 in the beginning of July. The three-hour camp was held at the Sporting KC Home Training Facility. There, specially chosen children worked on their soccer skills, toured the facility, met a few of the talented Sporting KC players and had dinner in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“There are more than 6,000 foster youth in the state of Kansas,” said Cathy A. Crist, the Kansas Kids @ GEAR UP Region 2 coordinator. “The Darol Rodrock Foundation Sporting KC Soccer Clinic at Sporting Village Swope Park was a wonderful opportunity for foster youth to have an afternoon of summer fun and a sense of normalcy in their lives. At the camp, there were between 75 to 100 youth running, kicking and learning the basics of soccer, all while having so much fun.
“Many foster youth don’t get to engage in sports camps nor participate in team athletics due to the number of moves they make or lack of transportation to/from practices and games,” Crist continued. “Team sports, like soccer, offer youth socialization, structure and friendships that are often lacking in the lives of many of our foster youth. This unique opportunity to meet Sporting KC players, gain soccer knowledge and tour the Sporting KC Training facility was definitely a memorable occasion for our youth. A delicious picnic, complete with time to relax and socialize, took place after the clinic.”
Throughout the year, there will be many additional opportunities for Rodrock Development and this championship team to partner up: Player appearances and autograph sessions, an interactive skills/drills session, a Club Scrimmage, and — incredibly — a VIP Practice Experience, complete with customized club replica apparel, an autograph and photo session, skills/drills session and VIP tour.
These are just a few examples of the incredible, winning combination that’s resulted from the three-year collaboration that perfectly aligns these family-focused, award-winning enterprises. This partnership is a natural extension of what these organizations deeply value. Sporting KC events are a fun outing for families of all shapes and sizes — and now this championship team and Rodrock Development have the immense opportunity to help those in need of families themselves.