United Reads, United Drives cap successful campaigns

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The seamless collaboration of D.C. United and the club's charity arm, United for D.C., has never been more apparent than shown in the implementation of the team-based United Drives for D.C. program and its impact on the foundation-driven United Reads initiative. Throughout the past year, D.C. United collected thousands of items for donation to worthy causes, far surpassing goals and expectations for the program. With great help from United Bank this summer, the club collected books and school supplies. These materials were given to United for D.C. in support of the foundation's reading initiative and will be distributed at three local elementary schools in the coming weeks, touching the lives of teachers, school administrators and more than 1,200 elementary school children.

"Creating synergy between programs to make an impact on the community around us is of up-most importance to us," said Catherine Marquette, United Director of Community and Fan Relations and Executive Director of United for D.C. "We are truly happy to have the additional support of United Bank. Their help and commitment to the United Drives program has been a great aid for us and for our charitable foundation over the years, and we look forward to a long future with them."

United for D.C. - with the assistance of Reading Is Fundamental - has adopted Payne Elementary (Ward 6), Smothers Elementary (Ward 7) and Howard Road Academy (Ward 8) as schools to participate in the third-year United Reads program. Throughout the 2004-2005 school year, D.C. United players and staff will encourage youth at the three schools to develop a love of reading. At each of three visits, students will choose a book for his or her personal library and participate in soccer demonstrations, show-and-tell and read-along periods with the players. United is also making plans for an event at the three United Reads schools, where Talon, the team's mascot, will deliver a gift bag to each classroom with school supplies for each teacher.

Long-time D.C. United sponsor United Bank also continued its commitment to the community relations initiatives of D.C. United during the 2004 campaign. Throughout the summer, United Bank's branches throughout the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia served as collection points for the United Drives book and school supply initiative. In June and July, nearly 1,000 children's books were collected among the branches. In August and September, United Bank patrons and staff contributed thousands of school necessities, including pens, pencils and notebooks.

"As a community bank, we are proud to have participated in these important initiatives," said Paulette Cross, Executive Vice President of Marketing at United Bank. "The books and school supplies that we collected will help to enrich the learning experiences of local children, and our branches throughout the area were pleased to act as collection points for donations from our customers and all those in the community."

Throughout the 2004 Major League Soccer season, D.C. United collected nearly 3,500 items for donation to Washington area non-profit organizations through its United Drives for D.C. initiative, including nearly 300 articles of clothing collected this month on behalf of the Dinner Program for Homeless Women. The total is the highest in the four-year history of the program, nearly 1,500 more than were collected in 2003.

"On behalf of our beneficiaries, I would like to thank our players and staff, and particularly our fans, for making this the most successful year for the United Drives program," said Marquette. "It is no secret that the fans of D.C. United are the best in the league, both on and off the field, and by helping us provide this valuable service for our partner organizations, they continue to prove it."

Each month throughout the 2004 season, D.C. United collected items at each United home match to benefit D.C. area non-profit organizations. Fans who donated items received a commemorative key chain and a "Buy One, Get One" ticket voucher good for any regular season home game. Beneficiary organizations for 2004 included DC SCORES, the Latin American Youth Center, Martha's Table, the Capital Area Food Bank, United for D.C., the Children's National Medical Center, the Wireless Foundation and the Dinner Program for Homeless Women.

For more information on United Reads, United for D.C., the United Drives for D.C. program or any of D.C. United's community relations initiatives, please visit dcunited.com or contact Catherine Marquette at cmarquette@dcunited.com or 202-587-5000.

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.

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