World champion soccer team LA Galaxy gives everything they have on the field. Off the field, the LA Galaxy Foundation gives, too. That’s why the charitable arm of the sports organization recently teamed with the Widows, Orphans & Disabled Firemen’s Fund for Firefighter Night, an evening of fun and generosity.
The foundation’s Coordinator of Community Relations, Danny Sanchez, said, “We want the Galaxy to be known not just for being successful on the field but also for their success in the community and being able to give back. Being able to support organizations such as [Widows & Orphans] allows us to give back to those individuals and their families that have been affected by putting their lives on the line for others.”
Firefighter Night took place during the match between the Galaxy and the Portland Timbers. Attendees could bid on auction items such as an LAFD soccer ball and a fire helmet autographed by the team. Proceeds from the auction went directly to WODFF. In addition, the Galaxy played a Widows & Orphans public service announcement on the massive scoreboard on game night and donated tickets for LAFD families to attend the event.
LAFD member Manny Galvez has been playing soccer since he was 6-years-old. He loves the sport so much he manages the LAFD soccer team. He and his family came to Firefighter Night and had a blast. For him, it’s heartening to see the LA Galaxy Foundation reach out to firefighters. He also sees a parallel between playing soccer and protecting the community. He said, “It’s a very challenging sport that requires you to be able to think on your feet, be in excellent shape and have the will to be your best, to do well—kind of like being a firefighter.”
And it wasn’t just the firefighter families who had fun that night. Other soccer fans enjoyed the charitable activities, too. Sanchez said, “The fundraising auction went very well as every item sold and fans were both impressed and intrigued by the collaborative items between the Galaxy and [Widows & Orphans].”
Sanchez is especially happy to help firefighters since he’s had personal experience with their bravery and dedication during some wildfires in his hometown of San Diego. He said, “The hours and energy [firefighters] invested when my city was burning will always stay with me as they truly were heroes during those tough times.”
The Galaxy expertly kept the Timbers from scoring a goal that night. Though, the real winners were the firefighter families helped by the efforts and contributions of the organization. Check out the Flickr set from the event at http://bit.ly/17FBRoZ and for more information on the LA Galaxy and the LA Galaxy Foundation, visit lagalaxy.com.
By David Vienna, LAFRA Staff