Week two of "Soccer Aid," a unique adrenaline-loaded fundraiser for juvenile Diabetes research, will start August 1 at midnight.
The exciting program that was launched in the United States by Crew head coach Greg Andrulis in 2003, will capitalize on soccer fans' passion for the sport to raise money for a disease that is very important to Greg and his family, Juvenile Diabetes. Greg's nine-year-old son Austin has diabetes.
The concept is simple. Soccer fans bid online at TheCrew.com and MatchNight.com for a chance to win autographed soccer jerseys of 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 get two tickets to The Crew's game vs. Freddy Adu and D.C. United on August 21, a Soccer Aid T-shirt, play a 30-minute game prior to the August 21 game, and participate in a post-game reception with Crew players and staff.
Last year's inaugural "Soccer Aid" consisted of 30 participants and raised over $13,000 for the Mid-Ohio chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).
"Our family is committed to fund-raising for Juvenile Diabetes Research," said Andrulis. "Last year's Soccer Aid was incredible and we are hoping for an even better response this year. 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 jerseys will be available for bidding during four week-long bidding periods. The first bidding period began on July 26 and ran until August 1 at midnight. Week two will run from August 1-7, followed by the last two weeks from August 7-13 and August 13-19. Minimum bids for most jerseys will begin at $200.
The next set of 10 jerseys up for bidding are a Brian McBride 2003 Crew jersey ($400 minimum), a team signed U.S. national team jersey from the U.S.-Paraguay game at Crew Stadium in 2003 ($400 minimum), Jason Kreis (Dallas Burn), Clint Dempsey (New England Revolution), and Crew jerseys of Jeff Cunningham, Chad Marshall, Simon Elliott, Erick Scott, Duncan Oughton and Devin Barclay. Just one of the marquee players that will be available at some point is a Tim Howard Manchester United jersey.
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. Football Aid has raised over $2 million and has had over 4500 participants.