COLUMBUS, Ohio - Week Four of "Soccer Aid III" is underway, with 12 new items being auctioned off this week. Former Crew Head Coach Greg Andrulis organized "Soccer Aid III," a unique adrenaline-loaded fundraiser for Juvenile Diabetes Research (JDRF).
The exciting program, which was launched in the United States by Andrulis in 2003, capitalizes on soccer fans' passion for the sport to help raise money for Juvenile Diabetes, a disease that is very important to Greg and his family. Greg's 10-year-old son, Austin, has diabetes.
The concept is simple. Soccer fans bid on-line at TheCrew.com and MatchNight.com for a chance to win autographed jerseys of Crew and other premier soccer players from around the U.S. and world, as well as a chance to experience the thrill of match day at Columbus Crew Stadium.
The winning bidder will not only receive the autographed jersey, but will also be entitled to two Center Circle Club seats to The Crew's game vs. the Kansas City Wizards on July 23, a Soccer Aid T-shirt, a locker room tour, on-field recognition and the opportunity to play a 30-minute scrimmage prior to the July 23 game.
Last year's "Soccer Aid II" raised over $8,000 for the Mid-Ohio Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, bringing the two-year total to over $21,000.
"Our family is committed to fund-raising for Juvenile Diabetes Research," said Andrulis. "Insulin is not a cure. This is about raising much-needed research dollars to help find a cure for Juvenile Diabetes. Soccer Aid offers fans a chance to live the dream of being their favorite player. Soccer is about passion, an unrivaled passion that the soccer fan has for the beautiful game. But Soccer Aid is not just about passion for soccer, it's also about compassion."
At least eight autographed jerseys have been available for bidding during each of the four week-long bidding periods. The first bidding period was from June 22-29, with week two running from June 29-July 6, week three going from July 6-13, and the final week is from July 13-19.
The 12 items up for bidding this week are a Tim Howard Manchester United jersey ($500 minimum), a DaMarcus Beasley Chicago Fire jersey ($500), a U.S. National Team vs. New Zealand jersey ($500), a 2005 Crew team autographed ball ($200), a 2005 Crew team autographed yellow jersey ($200), a 2005 Crew autographed polo ($200), a John Murphy autographed Crew polo ($200), and current Crew players Simon Elliott ($300), Mario Rodriguez ($300), Jamal Sutton ($200), Luis Gallardo ($200) and autographed Jon Busch game-worn goalkeeper gloves.
Soccer Aid is fashioned after the highly successful "Football Aid" program from the United Kingdom, which grew out of a father's desire to create an exciting and rewarding way to raise funds for diabetes research. Craig Paterson founded "Football Aid" in May 2001 in the UK. Football Aid is now global with events throughout Europe.
Shane Murphy and Lee Smith of MatchNight.com will lend support and help run the program. Details on how to bid for jerseys for "Soccer Aid" are available at TheCrew.Com and MatchNight.com. For more information concerning "Soccer Aid," please contact Dave Stephany at 614-447-4190.