By Mary O’KEEFE
The “One Strong Kick” fundraising event held on Saturday night raised $25,000 to help sponsor a Darfur soccer team.
The fundraiser was held in Manhattan Beach at the home of Richard and Lana Rizika. About 160 guests attended the event, which included silent auction items like an autographed jersey from L.A. Galaxy soccer team’s David Beckham. The event was hosted by i-ACT, a non-profit grassroots activist organization that has devoted countless hours and financial support to help victims of the Darfur civil war.
Victims of the war torn area have found refuge in camps on the Chad-Sudan border. i-ACT founder Gabriel Stauring, who has visited the camps several times, wanted to do more to bring hope to the seemingly hopeless situation.
Working with other volunteers, he formed a soccer team made up of players from various Darfur refugee camps. The team will journey to Iraqi Kurdistan next month to compete for the coveted Nelson Mandela Trophy in the Viva World Cup Soccer Tournament.
“Prior to this fundraiser we have raised an additional $23,630 for the project, and we still need to raise an additional $51,400 to get the team to the Viva World Cup,” said Katie-Jay Scott Stauring, director of community programming for i-ACT.
To donate or for more information visit the website at www.iactivism.org.