The Atlanta Silverbacks and Minnesota United FC of the North American Soccer League will play for the TeamUP Challenge Cup Saturday, October 12 – but the winner of the trophy will be decided off the field, not by the result of the game at Silverbacks Park.
The TeamUP trophy will be awarded to the team that inspires the most people to sign up on their team’s First Giving website to participate in a sleepover fundraising event to benefit the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, Saturday, October 12. The number of commitments to the cause will be the deciding factor between the Silverbacks and United FC rather than the amount of money that is raised or who scores the most goals during the NASL game.
Both teams will host their sleepovers on October 12, with participants in Atlanta having an opportunity to sleepover on the pitch that will host the NASL Soccer Bowl 2013 after the Silverbacks and FC United play their Week 11 NASL Fall Season game. In Minnesota, the team’s NSC Stadium home will be the venue for the fundraiser.
“There are up to 2,000 children reported missing every day in the United States,” said John Ryan, CEO of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. “This event is for them, to show they are not forgotten and to help bring them home. We are grateful to the Atlanta Silverbacks and their fans for supporting our work to find missing children and prevent the abduction and sexual exploitation of children.”
On-field festivities are planned for the 10-hour sleepover at Silverbacks Park, including movies on a pop-up screen on the field, games, soccer inflatables and appearances from Silverbacks players and coaches. An area on the field will be reserved for participants who would like to sleep during the course of the night and guests are encouraged to bring blankets and sleeping bags. Food and drink will be provided.
“As a father, I know that protecting our children is crucial for our future, and we hope this event can raise money and bring awareness to children in our communities who need our help the most,” said Silverbacks General Manager Andy Smith.
In Minnesota, the 10-hour sleepover event will kickoff with a replay of the club’s game that night versus the Silverbacks on a pop-up screen on the field. The screen will also show a movie following the game; other festivities include: soccer themed games, soccer inflatables and appearances from Minnesota United players. An area on the field will be reserved for participants that would like to sleep during the course of the night and guests are encouraged to bring their own blankets and sleeping bags. Chick-fil-a will also be providing sandwiches for everyone at the event and complimentary drinks will be available as well. For a complete list of events throughout the night, fans can click here.
“We are thrilled to host the first event of this kind with the National Center and bring to light such a critical issue in our communities locally and nationally,” said United FC President Nick Rogers.
Participants must register at http://www.firstgiving.com/teamup/silverbacks or http://mnunitedfc.com/community-events/sleepover/. The online registration site allows participants to set up a fundraising page of their own, through which they can contact friends and family to ask for donations. Donors can go directly to the fundraising page and make a donation online. Participants are asked to set a goal of raising $500 each for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, but they must raise a minimum of $50 in order to attend the event on October 12. Children are encouraged to participate but must be accompanied by an adult for the duration of the event.
About the National Center for Missing for Missing & Exploited Children
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 1984. Designated by Congress to serve as the nation’s clearinghouse on issues related to missing and exploited children, the organization operates the toll-free 24-hour national missing children’s hotline which has handled more than 3,810,000 calls. It has assisted law enforcement in the recovery of more than 188,000 children. The organization’s CyberTipline has handled more than 2,097,000 reports of child sexual exploitation and its Child Victim Identification Program has reviewed and analyzed more than 95,990,000 child pornography images and videos. The organization works in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. To learn more about NCMEC, call its toll-free, 24-hour hotline at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) or visit its web site at www.missingkids.com. Follow NCMEC on Twitter and like NCMEC on Facebook.
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