Katie-Jay Scott Stauring, Director of Community Programming for the Redondo Beach-based i-ACT, a non-profit grassroots activist organization, announced today: "i-ACT raised $25,000 at our fundraiser held on Saturday evening, May 12, 2012 to benefit 15 team members and five alternates players to support our Darfur United All-Refugee Soccer Team on their journey to compete for the coveted Nelson Mandela Trophy in the Viva World Cup Soccer Tournament in Iraqi Kurdistan this June."
The event was hosted by Richard and Lana Rizika in their Manhattan Beach home, where they entertained over 160 guests in attendance. Katie-Jay Scott Stauring added: "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."
Notables in attendance at the event included: Trisha Fox and Dennis Fox, Owners of South Bay Sports; Mark Hodson, EVO Soccer Programs and Director of Coaching at Manhattan Beach Sand and Surf Soccer Club and Coach of Darfur United Soccer Team; Heather Mendoza, Administrative Assistant, CoActive Content; Hunter Payne, Founder and President of Aid Still Required and his wife, Andrea Herz Payne, Founder and Chairwoman of Aid Still Required; Richard Rizika, Executive Vice President and Managing Director of CBRE, and his wife, Lana Rizika; Robert J. Ross, General Partner of Harry Ross Industries and his wife Cathie Ross; Alexandra Nuttall-Smith, a Physical Therapist and Athletic Trainer who will work with the Darfur United team in Iraqi Kurdistan; Gabriel Stauring, i-ACT Founder and Director and Katie-Jay Scott Stauring, Director of Community Programming for i-ACT, to name a few.
The event was catered by Farm Stand, Johnny Brooklyn's Pizza, Patron Tequila and Rock and Brew. Live entertainment was provided by the acoustical duo of David Veerman and Crystal Kakebeen, and the band, Splendido All-stars. An art exhibit entitled, "A Journey Through Children's Memories of Darfur," was also on display. A video clip featuring Musa Aarun Sulieman, a refugee from Camp Goz Amer who tried out for the team and got the position of Central Midfielder on the Darfur United Team was shown. This clip will be part of a documentary being made of the Darfur United All-Refugee Soccer Team's journey to the Viva World Cup.
Silent Auction Items included: a Camp Mile Soccer Players Canvas Print, Darfur United Team Canvas Print, a Quartz necklace donated by a Darfur United refugee, a Darfur United Soccer Ball signed by team members, Darfur United T-shirt signed by team members, a signed David Beckham LA Galaxy jersey, an LA Galaxy jersey signed by all the team members and a Chivas USA jersey signed by all the team members.
Raffle Items included: Art Needs Freedom package, $100 Gift Certificate at Hot's Kitchen, Prince William and Princess Kate Collectible Dolls, American Girl Collectible Doll, K-1 Kart passes, Los Angeles Dodgers tickets, Murano Handblown Glass, Hermes Scarf, Wine Tasting at Wine Styles, MIXT Studio Basket, John Elway signed football, One Hour Flying Lesson with Mark Weaver, Package from Soccer City, Party in a Wheelbarrow, Power Wheels Hot Wheels KFX with Monster Traction, Power Wheels Barbie Volkswagen New Beetle, My Escuelita: Spanish for Kids Summer Camp, Manhattan Beach Pier Print, Flemings Steak House Gift Card, Patron Tequilla Pack and See's Candy Gift Card.
Darfur United Sponsors include: EVO Soccer Programs, UNHCR The UN Refugee Agency, Aid Still Required, Karen Martino, South Bay Sports, Tracy McGrady and adidas and South Bay Sports.
Members of general public can still sponsor a player online by visiting the official website for the soccer team at www.darfurunited.com. Checks can also be made payable to i-ACT, with Darfur United in the memo line and sent to 1732 Aviation Boulevard, #138, Redondo Beach, CA 90278. Follow the team's journey on www.facebook.com/darfurunited and www.twitter.com/darfurunited.
Darfur United is an all-refugee soccer team made up of Darfuri refugees living in Eastern Chad. Sixty-one players from the 12 refugee camps that dot the Chad-Sudan border participated in try-outs for 15 spots on the team roster, and five additional alternates. The team selected will represent Darfur, the embattled region of Sudan, in the 2012 Viva World Cup in June, a soccer tournament for nation-less people and other groups not represented by FIFA, the international soccer federation.