The devastating Camp Fire killed dozens of people, destroyed thousands of homes and other buildings and caused billions of dollars’ worth of damage across Paradise, California and neighboring communities last month, making it one of the worst wildfires in United States history.
There’s no easy cure for that pain and loss, but San Jose Earthquakes star and local boy Chris Wondolowski – who played four years of college soccer at nearby Chico State – chipped in to give a helping hand by hosting a soccer camp in Chico this past weekend to raise funds for those in need and give some of the affected children a chance to play the beautiful game.
The camp was free for victims of the fire, while other participants were asked to make a donation to the North Valley Community Foundation. More than 100 kids took part, and about $7,000 was raised.
Perhaps most importantly, the event gave some mental and emotional relief to those suffering, including some longtime fans of the Quakes and Wondo – who is just two goals away from breaking MLS’s all-time goalscoring record.
SJEarthquakes.com’s Jake Pisani detailed one moving anecdote from a Paradise resident and lifelong fan of the club named Matt Rosendin, whose son Brett took part in the camp after the family’s home was destroyed in the fire; it’s highly worth a read.