Foundation

23 March 10:42 am
On Friday, March 13, Philadelphia Union staff surprised the 6th grade students of George Sharswood School in South Philadelphia and took over their gym class with soccer activities. 
 
The staff surprised the students outside with three soccer stations and an inflatable soccer field with various games at each including 5 vs. 5 matches and competitive variations titled “Steal the Bacon” and “Knock Out." 
 
“It was awesome being able to surprise the kids. They were all excited that we were there and it was something different for them," said Ticket Sales intern Shane Nelson. “They were all running around, smiling, and having fun. You could tell this was the highlight of their week.” 
 
The activities lasted for approximately an hour and a half followed by group pictures. Before sending the students back to class, the Union staff donated soccer balls and mini soccer goals to the school in hopes to grow their soccer program and activity in the community. 
 
 

@philaunion takes over gym class at the Sharswood School!

A photo posted by Philadelphia Union (@philaunion) on

 
“I think these activities can get children excited about the game, becoming Philadelphia Union fans themselves,” said Union intern Budimir Markovic.
 
The Union looks forward to visiting other local schools and organizations in the future to promote healthy activity and involvement. 
 
03 March 11:50 am
Jeff Benjamin
 
Jeff Benjamin serves as Partner and Chief Operating Officer for the Vetri Family of Restaurants. In addition to being an integral component of the company’s day-to-day work, Jeff also serves as co-founder of the Vetri Foundation for Children, a non-profit, charitable organization whose mission is to help kids experience the connection between healthy eating and healthy living. 
 
Jeff was bitten by the hospitality industry bug in his junior year of high school when he worked weekends as a busboy at a kosher catering hall in New Hyde Park, NY. The energy and pace of the working in the dining room, coupled with meeting and serving all kinds of interesting guests truly lit a fire. In 1987, he enrolled in UMass-Amherst, majoring in Hospitality Business. Throughout college, Jeff held various front-of-the-house positions, experiences that solidified his chosen career path.
 
Following his college graduation, Jeff landed in New York City with foodservice industry giant, Aramark. He spent the better part of the next decade managing high-level corporate employee and executive dining operations. During his time in the Big Apple, Jeff met and became friends with Chef Marc Vetri, who was also working in the city at the time. When Marc decided to return to his native Philadelphia to open his own restaurant, he tapped Jeff to be his general manager.  
 
In 1998, Marc and Jeff opened Vetri, a small, intimate, fine dining restaurant in Philadelphia’s Center City neighborhood. Vetri was an instant hit, with Marc’s bold, contemporary Italian cuisine and Jeff’s thoughtful service style and finely curated beverage program earning universal acclaim. Within two years of the restaurant’s debut, it received the Philadelphia Inquirer's highest restaurant rating, and Jeff was made a partner. This dynamic duo has been rolling along ever since.  
 
With Marc and Jeff at the helm, the Vetri Family has grown to a total of seven critically lauded restaurants—Vetri, Osteria (Philadelphia and Moorestown, NJ), Amis, Alla Spina, Pizzeria Vetri and the most recent, Lo Spiedo, which opened in fall of 2014. Throughout the years, Jeff’s thorough attention to detail demands all operations standards are met and remain intact. His vigilant eye ensures the signature Vetri Family philosophy and experience is always upheld for guests and employees alike.
 
In Spring 2015, Jeff will launch his first book, Front of House (Burgess Lea Press, 2015), which pulls back the curtain to show all that goes into an evening out, from staff training and systems to the proper way to deal with boorish overimbibers. 
 
Outside of the restaurants, Jeff is a committed philanthropist. In 2009, he and Marc created the Vetri Foundation for Children. The foundation’s signature initiative, “Eatiquette,” is a school lunch improvement program in which children experience the connection between healthy eating and healthy living. The program currently services 10 schools, and has served nearly 265,000 healthy meals. Additionally, the partners are the driving force behind the “Great Chefs Event,” which brings together scores of the country’s greatest chefs to raise money and awareness for the pediatric cancer charity, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. Jeff also serves as a member of the board of directors for Alex’s Lemonade Stand and the Community Partnership School. 
 
Jeff lives in Cherry Hill, NJ, with his wife, Melissa, and their two daughters. When he’s not working, he can be found rooting for his children’s sports team, and his beloved Union, Phillies and 76ers. 

Marc Vetri

Marc Vetri is the chef/founder of Philadelphia’s critically acclaimed Vetri Family of Restaurants. In addition to his storied career in the kitchen, Marc is also the driving force behind the Vetri Foundation for Children, a non-profit, charitable organization whose mission is to help kids experience the connection between healthy eating and healthy living.

A Philadelphia native, Marc initially pursued a career in music as a guitarist before realizing his true passion came from cooking. Spending his formative professional kitchen life in Bergamo, Italy, working alongside some of the region's most noted chefs, Marc has become known the world over for bringing a bold, contemporary sensibility to classic Italian cooking. In 1998, he and business partner, Jeff Benjamin, opened the eponymous, fine-dining restaurant, Vetri, to universal acclaim. Vetri’s outstanding pastas, innovative flavor combinations and artful presentations captured imaginations and propelled Marc to the culinary forefront. Within two years of the restaurant’s debut, he was named one of Food & Wine's “Best New Chefs” and received the Philadelphia Inquirer's highest restaurant rating. In 2005, he was given the James Beard Award for "Best Chef Mid-Atlantic."

Following years of continued success at Vetri, Marc launched Osteria in 2007. Larger and more casual than Vetri, Osteria’s menu of traditional Italian thin-crust pizzas, homemade pastas and wood-grilled meats and fish quickly won over the dining public. The restaurant was nominated for “Best New Restaurant” in 2008 by the James Beard Foundation. In 2010, it helped earn Vetri Family chef/partner, Jeff Michaud, the James Beard Award for "Best Chef Mid-Atlantic."

The Vetri Family’s third restaurant, Amis, opened its doors in 2010. Inspired by Rome’s neighborhood trattorias, this smaller but energetic restaurant specializes in small plates such as handcrafted pastas and house-cured meats. In November 2010, Bon Appetit named Amis one of the top “10 Places for Pasta” in the country. The opening of Amis also brought Chef Brad Spence in as a Vetri Family partner, and subsequently, he has been a two-time finalist for the James Beard Foundation’s "Best Chef Mid-Atlantic" award. 

Alla Spina, an Italian gastropub opened in 2012. It’s been recognized by publications such as GQ and Zagat as being one of the top craft beer havens in the U.S., making it a must-visit destination for beer connoisseurs of all levels. The following year saw the debut of two more Vetri Family restaurants: Pizzeria Vetri, the group’s most casual eatery to date, and a second location of Osteria in Moorestown, NJ, the group’s first restaurant outside of Philadelphia. Similarly to their predecessors, these restaurants have quickly become fixtures in their respective neighborhoods, earning high marks across the board from diners and critics alike. Pizzeria Vetri was named to GQ’s 2014 list of “Top 25 Best New Restaurants” in the country.

In October of 2014, a seventh restaurant joined the Vetri Family ranks. Lo Spiedo serves a casual Italian-inspired menu with a focus on spit-roasted meats. It is located in Philadelphia’s up-and-coming The Navy Yard district. This year also includes the expansion of the flagship Vetri. The restaurant now encompasses two floors, making it available for private events and accommodating larger parties. The new Vetri space includes a test kitchen, allowing Marc and his fellow culinary partners a place to develop and explore new dishes and menus.

Marc is the author of Il Viaggio di Vetri (Ten Speed Press, Oct. 1, 2008) a collection of more than 125 of Vetri’s most-requested dishes. His second cookbook, Rustic Italian Food (Ten Speed Press, Nov. 1, 2011), brought artisan cooking into home kitchens and was named one of the top cookbooks of 2011 by such outlets as Bon Appetit, St. Petersburg Times and The Huffington Post. His third cookbook, Mastering Pasta (Ten Speed Press, 2015), will be released in March of 2015. In addition to his cookbooks, Marc’s writing can be found on The Huffington Post where he is a regular blogger.  

Outside of his restaurants, Marc is deeply passionate about giving back to the community, in particular his hometown of Philadelphia. In 2009, he and Jeff Benjamin created the Vetri Foundation for Children. The foundation’s signature initiative, “Eatiquette,” is a school lunch improvement program in which children experience the connection between healthy eating and healthy living. The program currently services 11 schools and two camps, and has served more than 300,000 healthy meals. Additionally, Marc and Jeff are the founders of the “Great Chefs Event,” which brings together scores of the country’s greatest chefs to raise money and awareness for the pediatric cancer charity, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and The Vetri Foundation. Marc also gives his time to his alma mater, Drexel University, where he’s been a regular guest lecturer and adjunct faculty member.

Marc lives in Philadelphia with his wife, Megan, and their three children. He enjoys spending weekends cooking with his family, training in Brazilian jiu jitsu and playing his beloved guitars.

 
02 March 5:10 pm

Soccer For Success is now at 10 schools in Chester!

In conjunction with Widener University, the Philadelphia Union Foundation supports Soccer For Success and after school youth soccer program. The program includes nutritional and life skills programming as well as parent involvement.


Games!

50/50 Raffle is back in action! Make sure to purchase your raffle ticket at any Union home game for your chance to win half of the jackpot raised. The other half goes to the PUF. 

March 7th Union VS. Colorado

  • Be sure to check out the Sons of Ben tailgating area to donate to “Stache Bash” proceeds to benefit Special Olympics PA.
  • The Union recognizes Hometown Hero’s. For this game, Mr. Lawrence Hamm of the Boys & Girls Club of Chester will be honored on field for his work with youth in the community.

March 20th Union VS. FC Dallas

  • Concussion and Brain Injury Awareness

Here comes Spring!

Once a month the Philadelphia Union Foundation will head to the playground and small field at STEM High School to clean and maintain the area. If you would like to volunteer for this, please email foundation@philadelphiaunion.com

Chester City United: April 8th – June 8th

Chester City United will kick off in April of this year for a two season, 3 day a week, after school soccer program. But, we need your help! Give the Gift of Soccer - $30 will pay for the registration for one young soccer player to participate in this program. The program includes a t-shirt and other fun soccer gear!

To donate visit: http://www.philadelphiaunion.com/content/give-gift-soccer


 


Cocktails & Cleats – NEW DATE: April 22nd

The PUF brings you the 3rd annual Cocktails & Cleats Celebration presented by Cozen O’Connor. Sign up now for a night filled with fun: silent and live auctions, plated dinner, open bar, complimentary valet parking, a chance to meet the Philadelphia Union team.

To register visit: http://www.philadelphiaunion.com/foundation

06 February 12:06 pm

Below is a look at some of the recent and upcoming events on the Foundation calendar. To learn more or to get involved, contact the Philadelphia Union Foundation at foundation@philadelphiaunion.com

Or visit our website, philadelphiaunion.com/foundation.

MLS WORKS & PUF Community Service Project @ Philabundance: January 14th

MLS W.O.R.K.S., CR reps from every club, Union, PUF, MLS Draftees and Zach Pfeffer joined to sort and pack over 4,000 lbs of food to be distributed to 400 shelters in 9 different counties. Furthermore, MLS W.O.R.K.S. and PUF gave Philabundance a donation that will provide food for 10,000 families. For more information on Philabundance visit: http://www.philabundance.org/. Check out the article here.

Philadelphia Union Foundation at the NSCAA Convention: January 14 – 18th

PUF in conjunction with NSCAA Foundation sponsored 6 coach scholarships to the NSCAA Convention that took place in Philly this year. These 6 coaches were able to grow their knowledge and networking of the sport. The PUF recognized the group at the PUF presentation at the convention, where PUF mission, goals, and current successes were presented.

MLK Day of Service: January 19th

Union representatives met at Chester high School for a Martin Luther King Jr. remembrance day, “Pieces of Peace”.

Shining Stars Award – March of Dimes: January 21st

CSN recognizes Union’s Ray Gaddis as a mentor to Shining Star Amelia Kepple. Ray and Amelia became friends over the past year and were able to spend time together at PPL Park. Ray, along with other athletes from the Philadelphia Professional Sport Teams were honored at the March of Dimes award banquet.

For more on Shining Stars and March of Dimes, please visit: http://www.csnphilly.com/page/shining-star

Simon’s Soiree: February 7th

The PUF will attend Simon’s Soiree in continued support of “Simon’s Fund”. PUF will work with this organization in continuing to spread awareness of heart conditions and the importance of heart screenings.
For more info visit: http://www.simonsfund.org/

Chester Football Program Dinner: February 28th

Rick Jacobs, Executive Director of the PUF will be the guest speaker at the Chester-Wide Football Program Dinner. The Foundation’s mission aims to provide opportunities to youth in the community. PUF feels that using sport as a conduit for change is a powerful approach. The Foundation is happy to collaborate with the Chester Football Program in order to bring awareness and initiative to the area’s youth sports programs.

Cocktails & Cleats: March 11th

The PUF brings you the 3rd annual Cocktails & cleats Celebration presented by Cozen O’Connor. Sign up now for a night filled with fun: silent and live auctions, plated dinner, open bar, complimentary valet parking, a chance to meet the Philadelphia Union team.

To register visit: http://www.philadelphiaunion.com/foundation

Give the Gift of Soccer – Chester City United: April 6th – June 6th

Chester City United will kick off in April of this year for a two season, 3 day a week, after school soccer program. But, we need your help! Give the Gift of Soccer - $30 will pay for the registration for one young soccer player to participate in this program. The program includes a t-shirt and other fun soccer gear!

To donate visit: http://www.philadelphiaunion.com/content/give-gift-soccer

20 January 2:26 pm

Celebrating "True Colors"

Philadelphia Union Foundation Presents the 3rd Annual Cocktails & Cleats presented by Cozen O’Connor

  • Date: April 22, 2015 

  • Location: Vie, Philadelphia

  • Time: 6:00 P.M., 600 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130

  • Attire:  Festive Cocktail Attire (Sport the Blue & Gold Colors)

Meet Philadelphia Union Players + Technical Staff | Complimentary Cocktail Hour | Top Shelf Bar | Plated Dinner | Silent & Live Auction | Valet Parking

The Foundation programming is empowering the youth of Chester & Greater Philadelphia Area.  Join us on our mission to bridge the gap and make connections for the kids we love.

TO PURCHASE TICKETS OR SPONSORSHIP CLICK HERE

For more information about Cocktails & Cleats contact foundation@philadelphiaunion.com or call event producer, Kathy Swanson, 973-796-4332

We look forward to seeing you on April 22, 2015! 

 

 

08 January 11:39 am

The Philadelphia Union Foundation will be heavily involved with the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Convention this year. The convention will be held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center on 1101 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA.

Below is a look at some of the upcoming events on the Foundation calendar. To learn more or to get involved, contact the Philadelphia Union Foundation at foundation@philadelphiaunion.com

Or visit our website, philadelphiaunion.com/foundation.

Wednesday, January 14

The Philadelphia Union Foundation will team up with MLS WORKS and potential MLS Draftees at Philabundance in South Philly. Volunteers from each organization will pack and sort food for various homeless shelters and food banks in the area. MLS WORKS and the Philadelphia Union Foundation will present a combination donation to Philabundance.

Saturday, January 17

Six coaches from the region are being awarded full scholarships to this year’s NSCAA convention through a collaboration between NSCAA Foundation and the Philadelphia Union Foundation. These coaches will be recognized at the Philadelphia Union Foundation's presentation held by Rick Jacobs, Executive Director of the Foundation, at 2:15 p.m. in Convention Center Room 201 A. The presentation will be followed by a meet and greet with light refreshments.

More on the National Soccer Coaches Association of America: https://www.nscaa.com/convention

 

17 December 9:55 am

This year, the Philadelphia Union Foundation partnered with Southeastern Pennsylvania Soccer Hall of Fame for the annual Coats for Chester Coat Drive. A grand total of 2,115 coats were donated to four separate locations in the Chester area: The Bernadine Center, City Team Ministries, Mount Pleasant Church, and St. Katharine Drexel.

On Friday, December 12th, the coats were distributed with the help of the Father Judge Men’s soccer team. At each stop, the crew was welcomed with much gratitude. At one of the final stops, the volunteers were greeted by Darla McCready, from City Team Ministries, whom spoke to the gratitude felt by those that use the coats. It was an extremely successful event that will help to keep members of the community warm this upcoming winter season.

15 December 12:03 pm

With its roots deep in the community, the Philadelphia Union Foundation strives to serve as a helping hand to in not only the city of Chester, but in the Greater Philadelphia region. 

Below is a look at some of the recent and upcoming events on the Foundation calendar. To learn more or to get involved, contact the Philadelphia Union Foundation at foundation@philadelphiaunion.com

Or visit our website, philadelphiaunion.com/foundation.

 

Holiday Toy Drive and Boys & Girls Club Holiday Party

When: Nov. 1-Dec. 15

Union and Foundation collected toys for area Chester children. Thanks to donations, the Union surpassed its goal of 300 toys.

All toys will be distributed to the Boys & Girls Club of Chester for their Holiday Party: http://boysgirlsclubchester.com/index.php

Last year, this toy drive supplied all of “Santa’s Gifts” for the party.

SoB Help Kick Hunger

On Saturday, Dec. 13 the Union's vocal supporters group the Sons of Ben held its annual Help Kick Hunger event at Brauhaus Schmitz (8th and South Sts., Philadelphia).  This is the groups' big fundraising event that they do every year as they look to donate as much food and money to Chester's Bernadine Center ahead of the holiday season.  For more information of the Sons of Ben and how you can get involved, visit the Sons of Ben website.

Soccer 101

With the Soccer 101 initiative, the Philadelphia Union Foundation infiltrates Chester Charter School for the Arts’ physical education classes for two days.

Crew of coaches teach drills, skills and life-skills all through the game of soccer, working with kids ages 5-14.

City Team Ministries Food Sorting/Packing

Lead by food service corporation Ovations, the Union front office will once again take part in City Team ministries food drive by assisting with sorting and packing donated food items.

Location: City Team Ministries, 634 Sproul St, Chester, Pa. 19013

Date: TBD. For more information, http://www.cityteam.org/ or visit the Union Foundation website: philadelphiaunion.com/foundation.

Toyota Food Drive

On Dec. 12 from 8:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m., members from the Union Corporate Partnerships department and Technical team connected with the other Philly sports teams down at the Philabundance warehouse to help with a morning of loading and sorting donated foods. The food was then driven from the collection spot, by Toyota vehicles, to the warehouse. Along with a host of Union front office types, Union midfielders Danny Cruz and Sebastien Le Toux donated their time for this endeavor. 

SEPA Hall of Fame Coat Drive

South Eastern PA Soccer Hall of Fame has collected coats since mid-October with a goal of delivering 2,000 coats by the end of its campaign. The collection started at the pre-game festivities of two October Union home games. The coats were distributed on Dec. 12 to several locations in Chester including: Bernadine Center and St. Katherine’s of Drexel Church.

Philabundance Community Service around MLS SuperDraft

This year’s community project in association with the MLS Draft will take place at the Philabundance warehouse in South Philly. Community Relations Conference attendees along with MLS draftees will make their way to the location on Jan. 14 at 12 p.m. to assist in the massive food sorting and packing assembly line that Philabundance runs. MLS W.O.R.K.S. and Philadelphia Union Foundation will make a donation to Philabundance for the efforts in eliminating hunger in Philadelphia.

 

25 November 5:21 pm

Philadelphia Union played an integral role connecting Cozen O’Connor and Orlando City SC with the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida in a community service outreach effort Saturday, Nov. 22.

Cozen O’Connor attorneys traveled to Central Florida for a retreat and spent their time teaming up to refurbish rooms in a homeless shelter and create Thanksgiving centerpieces with residents. Cozen O’Connor also donated $5,000 to the shelter.

"This collaboration in support of Cozen O'Connor and their community service project in Orlando during their all-attorney retreat is just another example of how Philadelphia Union used the power of relationships to connect Cozen O'Connor, Orlando City SC and the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida,” said Rick Jacobs, Philadelphia Union Vice President of Community Affairs. “We were pleased to support this effort."

For more on Philadelphia Union Foundation, visit: philadelphiaunion.com/foundation

10 November 12:47 pm
The Philadelphia Union invite you to take advantage of this unique opportunity to obtain some Union gear during this year's Holiday Auction.
 
Items include:  
  • (1) Full team signed Open Cup Pennant
  • (2) Full Team signed Union Game Pennant
  • Sheannon Williams, signed, Open Cup
  • Michael Lahoud, signed, Open Cup
  • Ethan White signed, Open Cup
  • Amobi Okugo signed, Open Cup Jersey

Visit our store to view more items!