The Colorado Rapids and the Rapids Sidekicks announced today that the Open Closets, Open Hearts sidewalk sale raised $10,000 for the Myocarditis Foundation on behalf of Elysa Rojas.
The Rapids Sidekicks, consisting of the significant others of Rapids players and team staff, hosted the sidewalk sale and auction of new and gently used athletic gear and memorabilia prior to the Rapids match versus FC Dallas at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The event was held to raise funds and awareness for the Myocarditis Foundation in honor of Elysa, daughter of Head Athletic Trainer Jaime and wife, Jana. Elysa passed away suddenly in January as a result of viral myocarditis.
“The Rojas family has been very close to our hearts for a long time, and we were thrilled to kick start their vision of carrying on Elysa’s legacy with such a successful event,” said Kersten Mullan, wife of defender, Brian, who spearheads the Sidekicks. “We owe a huge thanks to the Myocarditis Foundation, the Colorado Rapids, and all of the individuals and organizations that donated items to the sale and the fans that contributed.”
The Myocarditis Foundation was on hand at the sidewalk sale and has already received 95 per cent of the money raised. Additional donations came in during the week following the sale to push the total contributions from the soccer community to $10,000.
"The Myocarditis Foundation is extremely honored and humbled by the support of the Rapids team and their fans,” said Lindsey Davis, Director of the Myocarditis Foundation. “The Rojas family, and so many other families just like theirs, are the reason we continue our fight every day to bring awareness to this disease and we can't thank everyone enough for coming together to support our cause. The money raised from this event will go to further our research and awareness programs, all in an effort to save future lives from myocarditis."
The Open Closets, Open Hearts Sidewalk sale included gear donated by Colorado Rapids players and coaches, as well as items donated by the U.S. Soccer Federation, FC Dallas, Real Salt Lake, Florida International University soccer, Bumpy Pitch apparel, and former Rapids players.
In the week leading to the event, the Rojas family shared the tragic story of the sudden death of 2-year-old Elysa. The heart-breaking story quickly spread through social media, accomplishing one of the Rojas' goals of educating others about the rare disease. The family’s other goal was to raise funds for the Myocarditis Foundation.
The family has also established the “For Elysa Foundation,” using their daughter's initials as the organizations core mission.
- Elysa - Education of health care providers and the community about myocarditis and other causes of sudden cardiac arrest in children
- Louise - Bring Light for those families affected by pediatric cardiac disease through goodwill projects, such as arts and crafts at the hospital.
- Rojas - Research by supporting the work of the physicians and scientists at the Myocarditis Foundation.
More information can be found at www.ForElysa.org.