Chester Upland School District Receiver Dr. Francis Barnes recognized the Philadelphia Union Foundation the evening of Wednesday, Dec. 16 for its support of the Soccer for Success Program, highlighted by the installation of a mini-pitch at Stetser Elementary School, in collaboration with Major League Soccer’s 20 for 20 Mini Pitch Initiative. After a successful year in 2015, the Foundation looks to continue to grow and develop programs that benefit Chester and the local community in 2016.
“We are honored to receive this recognition from the Chester Upland School District,” said Philadelphia Union Foundation Chairman Mike Curry. “We have supported and started many initiatives this year within the school district and we are determined to do the same in 2016.”
In Stetser Elementary School, the Philadelphia Union Foundation and community outreach department offered strong support for the Soccer For Success program, which enables children from all skill levels to play soccer after school, including the installation of a mini-pitch on Oct. 22.
At Toby Farms School, the Foundation and community outreach department supported the Beyond School Walls Big Brother Big Sisters program, in which Philadelphia Union front office staff meets with a “little” twice a month for activities at Talen Energy Stadium. Currently, around 40 percent of the Union’s full-time office staff members participate in the program.
STEM Academy at Showalter received a complete school refurbishment from the Philadelphia Union staff with the help of defender Ray Gaddis. Additionally, Chester City United, Chester’s local competitive soccer team supported by the Philadelphia Union Foundation, operates at the STEM Academy.
At Chester High School, Philadelphia Union employees participated in mock interviews with students to further their professional development and the Foundation also took the youth law class on a fieldtrip to the Constitution Center. Additionally, Chester High participated in the Special Olympics Exchange match, which took place on Aug. 1 before the Union vs. New York Red Bulls game at Talen Energy Stadium.
In effort to further support the community, the Philadelphia Union Foundation donates more than 1,000 tickets for Union games and other events to the local Chester youth. The 2015 school supply drive resulted in upwards of 1,500 school supplies benefitting children in the local school system.
In 2016, the Foundation aims to continue several initiatives from 2015, including the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, and start four new partnerships this calendar year.
For more information about the Philadelphia Union Foundation and community outreach, visit www.philadelphiaunion.com/foundation.