Back to school With United Drives for D.C.

WASHINGTON, DC - Today D.C. United announced United for D.C., the club's charitable arm, as the beneficiary of the United Drives for D.C.'s September collection efforts. At United's home matches on September 11th, 18th and 29th, the club will be collecting school supplies to benefit schools that participate in the charity's United Reads initiative.

"Last year, the school supplies drive was a huge success in terms of getting our fans acquainted with local educational programs and collecting much-needed items for area teachers and children," said Catherine Marquette, United Director of Community & Fan Relations and Executive Director of United for D.C. "We expect this year, in particular with United Bank's involvement, to make an even greater impact for our community."

United Bank continues its commitment to the community relations initiatives of D.C. United in September, as local branches throughout the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia will again serve as collection points for the United Drives program. United Bank, a long-time sponsor of the Black-and-Red, also helped the team during the club's book collection drive in June and July, collecting over 1,000 books among the branches.

"As a community bank, we are proud to participate in this important effort," said Paulette Cross, Executive Vice President of Marketing at United Bank. "The school supplies we collect will help to enrich the learning experiences of local children, and our branches throughout the area are ready to accept donations from customers and all those in the community."

In 2002, Payne Elementary became the first school adopted as part of the United Reads program, with Smothers being adopted in 2003. With the assistance of Reading Is Fundamental, United for D.C. helps to instill a love of reading and book ownership by giving students the opportunity to build a personal library. As an extension of the partnership with Payne and Smothers, United for D.C. will again distribute all of the school supplies collected through the drive to teachers and students at the two elementary schools.

Throughout the 2004 Major League Soccer season, D.C. United has collected items at each home match to benefit Washington, D.C. area non-profit organizations. Beginning two hours prior to kickoff, United collects items outside of Gate A at RFK Stadium. Fans who donate an item receive a commemorative key chain and a "Buy One, Get One" ticket voucher good for any D.C. United regular season home game.

The United Drives program has enjoyed a great deal of success during the 2004 season. In its fourth season of operation, United Drives has collected more than 2,000 items benefiting local non-profit organizations. In April, over 450 pieces of soccer equipment were donated to DC SCORES and the Latin American Youth Center, followed in May by a donation of more than 100 canned and non-perishable food items to Martha's Table and the Capital Area Food Bank. In addition to the books collected at United Bank branches, fans brought more than 350 books to D.C. United matches for United for D.C.'s United Reads program in June. Nearly 100 new toys were collected for the Children's National Medical Center in July. And although United's two home matches in August were separated by a mere three days, more than 50 cell phones and accessories were collected for the Wireless Foundation's CALL to PROTECT® program.

For more information on the United Drives for D.C. program or any of D.C. United's community relations initiatives, please contact Catherine Marquette at cmarquette@dcunited.com or 202-587-5443.

United for D.C.

The mission of United for D.C. is to serve the Washington, D.C. community through the creation or support of programs, events and organizations that advance the educational and social welfare opportunities (primarily health and recreational) for the area's youth, particularly those who may be economically, physically or mentally disadvantaged.

United for D.C. is a 501(c)3 organization created from the desire of D.C. United of Major League Soccer to further the team's dedication to the Greater Washington, D.C. community. Founded in 2002, United for D.C. is committed to supporting programs and organizations falling within the organization's mission, thus giving back to the community that has supported the team so greatly since its inception in 1996.

Remaining 2004 United Drives for D.C. Schedule

September (11th & 18th): United School Supplies Drive benefiting United for D.C.

October (9th & 17th): United Coats & Clothes Drive benefiting the Dinner Program for Homeless Women


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