Local childhood cancer patients take center stage before the soccer match.
ORLANDO, Fla. (Monday, Sept. 14, 2015) — Some very special kids were on the field holding the Orlando City Foundation banner during pregame ceremonies for yesterday’s match between Major League Soccer’s Orlando City SC and Sporting Kansas City.
The kids are patients from Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children who are in a battle against cancer, and they were there with Orlando City to raise awareness of childhood cancer and funds critical to efforts to find a cure.
The event is part of a league-wide push by Major League Soccer to recognize and honor children battling cancer and organizations working to find a cure. At matches throughout September, MLS players will wear special Soccer Kicks Cancer t-shirts during pregame festivities, raising awareness and funds for children’s cancer research and treatment.
This awareness effort is especially meaningful to Orlando City, which has had a long-standing partnership with Arnold Palmer Hospital. The hospital is part of Orlando Health, jersey sponsor and official medical provider for the team. Each year, hundreds of children with cancer are treated at Arnold Palmer Hospital’s Center for Children’s Cancer & Blood Disorders, where Orlando City players often come to visit.
Local efforts by Orlando City will support Arnie’s March Against Children’s Cancer, a fundraising initiative led by families of childhood cancer patients at the hospital. Fans will be asked to support local cancer research and clinical trials by donating to www.ArniesMarch.com. Additionally, the team will have a special scarf on sale at the match this Sunday benefiting Soccer Kicks Cancer. A portion of the proceeds from each scarf will also be donated to Arnie’s March Against Children’s Cancer.
ARNOLD PALMER HOSPITAL for CHILDREN
Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children is a 158-bed facility dedicated exclusively to the needs of children. Located in Orlando, Arnold Palmer Hospital provides expertise in pediatric specialties such as cardiac care, craniomaxillofacial surgery, gastroenterology, nephrology, neurology, oncology, orthopedics, pulmonology and sports medicine. The Bert Martin’s Champions for Children Emergency Department & Trauma Center at Arnold Palmer Hospital is part of the only Level One Trauma Center in the area, and is the first facility in Central Florida to provide emergency care exclusively for pediatric patients. Visit www.arnoldpalmerhospital.com to learn more about all of our specialties.
About Orlando City Soccer Club:
One of the leading teams in Major League Soccer (MLS), and the only MLS team in Florida, Orlando City Soccer Club has developed a rich history and passionate following in its short existence since starting in the USL in 2011. The Lions’ first team set the U.S. record for best start of any professional soccer club in its first 100 USL matches (66-12-22). During that time, the Lions won three regular season titles and two postseason championships.
In MLS, the team draws an average of over 32,683 fans per home game — including 62,500 for its home opener — a record for an expansion team in its first 14 stand-alone home games. In addition, the team is currently near the top of the league in social media followers. Orlando City has not only captured the passion of soccer fans in the City Beautiful, it continues to build its brand overseas as its matches are broadcast in 100 countries and in 30 languages.
Outside of the first squad, OCSC also has a youth club, Orlando City Youth Soccer (OCYS) and a U-23 team that participates in the PDL. Lastly, the Orlando City Foundation is active in the community year round, promoting health and wellness in children throughout the region, and raising funds for and volunteering time for various local organizations.