As part of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, MLS WORKS — Major League Soccer’s social responsibility platform — announced on Tuesday that it is teaming up with league partner Continental Tire to raise awareness and funds in the battle against childhood cancer.
Now in its seventh year, Kick Childhood Cancer works to strengthen research efforts to find cures for all types of childhood cancer and provide support to one of the most vulnerable populations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As we enter the 7th year of the campaign, Major League Soccer and our clubs remain committed to finding cures for all types of childhood cancers and now more than ever, providing comfort and support to one of the most vulnerable populations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,” MLS president and Chief Administrative Officer JoAnn Neale said in a statement. “With a shared history for delivering fun and innovative experiences, we are proud to partner with Continental Tire to positively impact patients and families during their fight against Childhood cancer.”
During the month-long campaign, MLS and Continental Tire will partner with MLS clubs, players and club legends to surprise and delight pediatric cancer patients and health care providers with unique experiences and acts of kindness throughout the month of September. Continental Tire will donate sets of tires to patient families and hospital workers in each of the 26 MLS Club markets to help offset the financial burden associated with driving to and from treatments and appointments. Additionally, Continental Tire will provide "Kick Childhood Cancer Care Kits," featuring games, activities, puzzles and more, to patients in local markets.
MLS supporters also have a role to play with fans encouraged to provide messages of hope to help inspire and motivate local pediatric cancer patients as they continue their journey in the fight against cancer. Fans may submit their message on Twitter using the hashtag #KickChildhoodCancer, and some of those messages will be used to produce club customized blankets and scarves to distribute to pediatric cancer patients this holiday season.
In honor of MLS' 25th season, Continental Tire will donate $25 for every use of the hashtag #KickChildhoodCancer to fund pediatric cancer research, up to $50,000. Fans may also donate directly to Children’s Oncology Group. A holiday auction consisting of game-used autographed jerseys and soccer balls from September 2020 matches and other items donated by Continental Tire will provide an additional fundraising opportunity later in the season.
The campaign will also be present on the field. A commemorative gold ribbon on the adidas 2020 MLS Nativo XXV Official Match Ball will be used during all matches, as well as gold corner flags and goal nets. Kick Childhood Cancer gold captain’s armbands and gold ribbon jersey patches will be worn by the players. Technical staff will don Kick Childhood Cancer pins and PRO referees will sport gold wristbands.
Here's how the Colorado Rapids are getting involved:
The Colorado Rapids will celebrate their annual Kick Childhood Cancer Night on Saturday, Sept. 12 via their Second Screen Experience. The virtual experience will feature a special ‘Kid Captain’ who will be featured in the Starting XI lineups with the team. The Rapids will also donate meals to the Oncology Department at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children and Rapids first team players will make virtual visits with RMHC patients. Additionally, Rapids mascot RapidMan will be in attendance at the ‘Over the Edge’ fundraising event benefiting Cancer League of Colorado on Thursday, Sept. 10, and at the annual CureSearch Walk on Saturday, Sept. 26, at DICK’S Sporting Goods Park, which raises funds for children’s cancer research.