Steve Zakuani trains with Crossfire Select B02 Taylor as thanks for their Kingdom Hope fundraising efforts during the 2013 Starfire XTREME Cup.
TUKWILA, Wash.—October 24, 2013—From August 23rd to the 25th, thousands of youth soccer players flooded the Starfire Sports campus for the annual Starfire XTREME Cup, benefitting Kingdom Hope. This year, the players were competing for more than just trophies. As part of the event, teams were encouraged to start their own Kingdom Hope fundraising efforts for a chance to win a team party with Sounders FC midfielder and Kingdom Hope Founder Steve Zakuani at Starfire. On October 23rd Crossfire Select B02 Taylor collected their prize after having raised $1,830.
How the team claimed the top prize in the competition was a combination of inspiration and dedication. “They were really inspired by the vision that Zakuani has to reach kids that may not have the opportunity at younger ages to get out and play some soccer,” said coach Rob Taylor. “Everybody should get to play soccer,” added player Chaz Cavallo, age 11. “We wanted to help make that a reality.”
Many members of the team took to the streets, including Cavallo, who collected nearly $250 as one of the team’s biggest contributors. “I went door to door,” Cavallo said. “I asked my grandparents, asked my aunt, asked my uncle, asked my mom, asked my dad. Everybody that would listen to me.”
“These kids definitely earned their top spot in the fundraising competition,” said Starfire Tournament Director, Teddy Mitalas. “The Starfire XTREME Cup is focused on showing youth athletes that they can make a difference through soccer, both on and off the field. This team clearly embraced that idea and truly deserves to be recognized.”
The team’s day of recognition included a training session and team dinner with Steve Zakuani at Starfire. “This is the best day of my life!” exclaimed player Tamaki Nakamura, age 11. “Playing with Steve Zakuani was the awesome part,” added Cavallo.
Between earnings from team fundraisers and Starfire’s $50 donation per registered team, The XTREME Cup generated $10,966 for Kingdom Hope. “I am extremely proud to have been a part of this great event, and am overwhelmed with the amount of money that was raised,” said Zakuani. “This money will help me tremendously in my efforts to help inspire young kids and teenagers in the local community through my Kingdom Hope organization. I will be able to put together more soccer based program’s that will serve and inspire the community.”