If you’ve heard about the Craig Willinger Fund, you’ll have heard the story of a Baltimore non-profit set up to the raise spirits of cancer-stricken children and young adult soccer fans, by sending them to watch the beautiful game where it is played – both domestically and abroad.
What you’ve probably never heard is the tale of the LFC Baltimore Reds and the Charm City Gunners and how the Craig Willinger Fund helped bring them together.
In 2009, the Baltimore Reds heard the story of Craig Willinger, a life-long Bayern Munich fan living with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. We banded together, and with the help of local restaurants, raised enough money to send Craig to Munich to watch his own beloved Roten play at the Allianz Arena.
Earlier this year, one of our own, Big Phil Chorney, put us in touch with Charm City Gooner President, Josh Templeton. When he heard about the Craig Willinger Fund – and the Baltimore Reds’ involvement – it wasn’t long before he determined that he had found something he and his lads could get behind.
On April 11th 2011, we squared off against the Charm City Gunners in the inaugural Supporters’ Charity Shield at Du Burns Arena. In a match played to fit the charitable spirit of the occasion, a very giving bunch of lads on the Reds side of the pitch allowed almost everything to go in and Arsenal narrowly squeaked by us 15-4. As a mixed bag of supporters, we raised $500.
On October 29th, our two groups are getting together again to “Dribble for Cancer” in a Federal Hill Bar Crawl in support of the Fund. This time, there won’t be any runners up, only soccer fans getting together to support a worthy cause.
We are asking for a $30 donation which gets you a five-bar crawl (The Abby, Porters, Little Havana, No Idea, Mad River), a T-shirt, a beer coozie, automatic entry into raffles, drink and beer specials, and the feeling of goodwill that only this type of event can bring.
Anyone that is interested can either click here to pay online or simply show up at any of the participating bars and pay in cash. If you can’t make it, you can always visit the Craig Willinger Fund website and hit the “Donate Now” button.
We feel fortunate to call the Charm City Gooners friends and we are thankful that they continue to support a cause that is very near and dear to the Baltimore Reds’ hearts. Their commitments and efforts brought this to the attention of the usa.arsenal.com who wrote this about the upcoming event.
We hope that you will join us and make this event and this relationship something that soccer fans everywhere can be proud of.