Mia Hamm Comes to Oregon
Oregon's young soccer players have a new friend, soccer legend Mia Hamm, the only five-time recipient of the U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year award. Ms. Hamm, along with Oregon Youth Soccer Association, launched an innovative and fun fundraiser to benefit OYSA and the Mia Hamm Foundation. Players raised funds to qualify themselves for an opportunity to meet Mia, eat lunch with her and even play with her.
On Sept. 19, over 200 people welcomed Mia to Oregon at the Tualatin Indoor Soccer Center. Almost 40 young girls raised enough funds to have lunch with Mia and get a photograph with her. The event then moved to the field, where over 200 people and press attended the Q&A. Players from across the state were selected to ask Mia questions, and she answered them candidly and humorously. One young girl asked who her favorite player was other than herself. Mia stated that Michelle Akers was one of the best players she ever played with and against. She respected her skills and was disappointed to see her retire Another young player asked her what she is doing now. Mia responded, "I ask myself that every morning," followed by a laugh from the crowd. She explained the challenges and rewards of raising twin young girls.
Mia then conducted media interviews and moved on to a brief clinic with a Southside Soccer Team that fundraised over $4,000 as a team.
The Play Hard Play Fair Event concluded on the pitch. The top-50 fundraisers played soccer with Mia. She joked with her teammates and even picked one up in a goal celebration.
By the end of the day, the event raised over $20,000 for the Mia Hamm Foundation, a non-profit, national organization dedicated to raising funds and awareness for families in need of marrow or cord blood transplants and the development of more opportunities for young women to participate in sports. Learn more about this great foundation at www.miafoundation.org
Oregon Youth Soccer was honored to be selected as one of the first states to host Mia Hamm and partner with her foundation to raise funds for such great causes. A big thank you to all of our fundraisers! And to the staff at the Tualatin Indoor Soccer Center, Tualatin Bellagio's Pizza, and all of our volunteers that helped make the event a success.
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