FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – With September officially in the books, so is the fifth annual MLS Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
It’s a cause that is near and dear to the hearts of the entire New England Revolution organization. While the Revs support efforts to raise awareness and funds for childhood cancer all year, they placed a special emphasis on it in September, with many heartwarming initiatives to give back to these inspirational children.
“I think whenever we do things like that, it’s awesome,” said Andrew Farrell, who took a lead role in many of the month’s events. “It just warms my heart to work with survivors and kids who are going through that.
“Obviously we play soccer, but there’s a lot more to life than just that.”
Here’s an inside look at some of those special moments from the past month that will simply melt your heart.
Box Car Movie Night
Cardboard boxes that turn into cars for you to sit in while you watch a movie? Yes, please.
The Revs kicked off Childhood Cancer Awareness Month with their second annual Box Car Movie Night in partnership with Binkeez for Comfort. Revolution players Matt Turner, Andrew Farrell, Scott Caldwell and Nico Samayoa spent a Friday evening with young cancer patients building and decorating cars out of cardboard boxes. The kids named their cars, and then climbed inside their vehicles to get cozy and watch Despicable Me 3.
Binkeez for Comfort is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide handmade blankets to babies and children who are struggling with serious illnesses, and many of the Revolution’s efforts this past September directly benefitted this wonderful initiative.
MassGeneral Hospital for Children Visit
“We got to visit a couple of the kids and put a smile on their faces, and honestly it put a smile on our faces, as well.” - Femi Hollinger-Janzen
The Revs teamed up with MassGeneral Hospital for Children to bring some Revolution swag and laughs to young patients. Between bedside visits, passing out souvenirs for the children and even making Play-Doh macaroons, there was no shortage of joy brought to these kids’ faces by Matt Turner, Jalil Anibaba and Femi Hollinger-Janzen.
“It was a really nice day, and it just puts a lot of things into perspective for you.” – Matt Turner
Celebrity Bartending at Brass Monkey
Crafting the perfect cocktails for an incredible cause.
Your favorite Revs players stepped off the training field and went behind the bar at Brass Monkey in Providence, R.I., to serve up some specialty cocktails for a good cause. The celebrity bartenders served their drinks with style, with their tips directly benefiting Binkeez For Comfort.
“I love working with Binkeez for Comfort. They’re incredible people, and I love to help them.” – Andrew Farrell
Confetti Party at Hasbro Children’s Hospital
There’s no question that life is better with confetti.
After Revs fans donated party supplies at the home game against the Portland Timbers on September 1, Matt Turner, Femi Hollinger-Janzen and Nico Samayoa teamed up with the Confetti Foundation and the Izzy Foundation at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence, R.I., to help the children who were spending their recent birthdays there feel a little bit more special. From Papa Gino’s pizza, to party games and even a Slyde piñata, this night was simply a time for the parents and kids to enjoy celebrating together.
“We had a blast. Those games are so fun and hearing the kids laugh and putting a smile on their face ... nothing really beats those moments.” – Matt Turner
Binkeez for Comfort Delivery at Boston Children’s Hospital
“I think it really gives back to kids who are struggling, and we can make a difference in their lives.” - Cody Cropper
All of the funds raised for Binkeez for Comfort throughout the month go towards creating the unique handmade Binkeez blankets. Revs players Cody Cropper, Brandon Bye, Nico Samayoa and club ambassador Charlie Davies made a special trip to Boston Children’s Hospital to hand deliver these blankets and spend time bringing cheer to young patients.
Kick Childhood Cancer Game
The Revs hosted their fifth annual Kick Childhood Cancer Game when the Chicago Fire visited Foxborough on September 22. In recognition of September as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month there were special gold-themed match-day elements, including a commemorative gold adidas Nativo match ball, gold nets, gold corner flags, a gold captain’s armband and gold ribbons on all players’ jerseys.
Bid on Game-Worn Items to Support Binkeez for Comfort
Those gold-themed items are currently available in an online auction, with all proceeds directly benefiting Binkeez for Comfort. Make sure to check out all of these game-worn items to help a great cause, with the auction live until October 9, 2018.
Kelyn’s NEGU Crew
Giving you all the feels, all year long … and teaching us to Never, Ever Give Up
Kelyn Rowe has always been passionate about curing bad days, and he’s found a platform and place that has truly helped him bring joy to young cancer patients at Gillette Stadium. Kelyn’s NEGU (Never Ever Give Up) Crew was started in 2015, and the Seattle native has continued to bring smiles to both the children and fans in Foxborough every year since. During this year’s Kick Childhood Cancer Game, Rowe hosted a returning member of his crew, Caden, for a very special night as the young fighter was celebrating now being cancer free.
Rowe has even expanded his initiative by having some of his friends around the league start their own NEGU Crews, and he isn’t showing any signs of slowing down on his journey to help find a cure.
“Everything that goes on throughout the league is just incredible,” said Rowe. “Obviously what we do here is great. I love that the fans get behind Kelyn’s NEGU Crew. I love that Ryan Hollingshead in Dallas has done the same with Ryan’s NEGU Crew. I love that guys are helping out. Jordan Morris (with the Seattle Sounders) started his own foundation.
“We see it here with the kids, and now the whole league gets to see it, as well. It’s pretty cool.”