The LouCity & Racing Foundation — charitable arm of Soccer Holdings, LLC — welcomed more than 1,000 attendees Wednesday evening to its second annual “Soccer Ball” aimed at leveraging the beautiful game toward good in our community.
The crowd gathered raised nearly $300,000 for the foundation while toasting Louisville City FC and Racing Louisville FC’s seasons at the Galt House Hotel.
“We had significantly more support than last year,” said the foundation’s executive director, Jeremy Jarvi. “The venue allowed us to accommodate a larger crowd, and it was great to see all the LouCity and Racing players dress up and celebrate.
“I always love bringing the entire organization — our two pro teams, the foundation, sponsors and our fans — together to celebrate all that is soccer in Louisville.”
The LouCity & Racing Foundation formed in 2021 with a mission to improve health, wellness, education and inclusiveness through the power of soccer. Since then, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit has created a number of partnerships with community organizations mainly geared toward youth and the benefits of structured sports.
Former LouCity captain Matt Fondy, who won the 2015 USL Most Valuable Player award and the league’s Golden Boot, returned to town as the Soccer Ball’s keynote speaker. He now operates Oakland Genesis, a free-to-play soccer club that removes barriers to entry for underprivileged kids in his home state of California.
Fondy said his “mission to harness the power of the beautiful game of soccer started in Louisville,” citing his experiences meeting people of all backgrounds through Kentucky Refugee Ministries.
“I look back at that day as an inspiration to use soccer for the power of change,” he told a full room of Soccer Ball attendees.
“I think it’s fantastic to see this community support,” added Soccer Holdings’ president, James O’Connor. “It’s humbling to see the volume of people here tonight and the community backing such a cause. The impact Jeremy and the foundation and the board of directors are making is evident, and we’re appreciative of it all.”
Soccer Holdings doled out a number of awards at the Soccer Ball, including…
— Racing Players’ Choice Award: Lauren Milliet
— LouCity Players’ Choice Award: Oscar Jimenez
— Racing Community Leadership Award: Jaelin Howell
— LouCity Community Leadership Award: Carlos Moguel Jr.
— Front Office P.I.T.C.H Employee of the Year Award: Stephanie Burdorf
— Racing P.I.T.C.H. Academy Player of the Year Award: Adison Welsh
— LouCity P.I.T.C.H. Academy Player of the Year Award: Liam Kent
For more information on the LouCity & Racing Foundation, or to make a donation, visit LouCityRacingFoundation.org.