christmas

ATLANTA, GEORGIA—The Atlanta United Foundation is supporting the 2021 Father Christmas Cup.
The United Foundation is a platinum sponsor of the annual soccer fundraiser held each December to provide comfort and financial support to local Atlanta families who will be missing a parent for the first time over the holiday period. Aside from fun and games, the event will also memorialize those active in our soccer community that has passed within the previous 12 months.
The Atlanta Silverbacks organization has been a long-time sponsor of the event, generously donating
field space to host both a youth and adult soccer tournament. This year’s event will be held on Saturday,
December 11th, 2021 at The Atlanta Silverbacks Park.
Since this worthwhile event began,  funds are generated from player participation donations, a sponsored player shirt, raffle proceeds, private donations made through the Father Christmas Cup website, and donations on the day of the event itself.

Platinum Sponsor : (Atlanta United FC and Foundation) Official shirt sponsor, exclusive
placement of logo on the front of the player, and commemorative shirts. Also includes up to 2 x 12 player team
entries, (any division) team shirts color selection, plus up to 25 additional shirts with choice of color.
Recognition on the FX Cup website as Platinum Sponsor. Dedicated social media liaison contact.

Gold Sponsors: (Max 3 sponsors) Top tier placement on the back of the shirt(large size logo), one
12 player team entry (any division), team shirts color selection, plus up to 12 additional shirts with
choice of color. Recognition on FX Cup website as Gold Sponsor. Dedicated social media liaison.

Silver Sponsors: Second-tier placement on the shirt with a medium-sized logo, six commemorative
shirts, recognition on the FX Cup website. Recognition in social media posts.

Bronze Shirt Sponsor: Logo on the shirt two commemorative shirts. Recognition in social media
posts.

Door Prize Sponsor & Online Auction: To ensure social distancing we will not be hosting a raffle this
year but will be having door prizes and online auction items. Please contact
stephenohare43@gmail.com if you would like to contribute.

Shirt Sponsor Deadlines: The last day for submission of your sponsorship level and logo for inclusion on the shirt is Monday, November 8th, 2021.

For shirt sponsors, you can email your high-resolution logo to Carey Wilson at carey@specialtyengraving.com along with
your sponsorship level so he can place your logo appropriately on the shirt. If you plan to use the same
logo as last year just let Carey know as he has them on file.
For questions please email stephenohare43@gmail.com.
You also visit them on Facebook www.facebook.com/FXCup.

History and Origin of The Father Christmas Cup

cup Atlanta United Foundation becomes The Father Christmas Cup Platinum Sponsor for 2021

The Father Christmas Cup came to be as a result of a discussion one night in September 2003 between a group of friends in a local pub, what was then the old Fado Fado, in the Buckhead bar district of Atlanta Georgia.

The discussion centered on the casualties from the war in Iraq and how that Christmas a family would be in mourning for a father missing for the first time during the Holiday season.

One of the groups recalled how soccer and war had been intertwined throughout the ages and we all remembered how during World War I, it was often cited that on Christmas Eve in 1915 a truce was struck between the Germans and the English to celebrate Christmas. The truce lasted Christmas Day and part of the following day- Boxing Day- and how an impromptu soccer game ensued in no-man’s land between the trenches.

The idea came about to hold a soccer match as a fundraiser to help a family that was missing their father for the first time. The first Father Christmas Cup has played in December 2003 and funds raised were donated anonymously to a soldier’s family.

After the success of the first fundraiser, many who supported the effort felt that it would help increase donations if we named the family who would benefit from the fundraiser. It was agreed that by doing so, friends and family of the beneficiary’s family would then be able to participate in celebrating the day, remembering the person whose family we were helping. And so, in 2004 we remembered a local military serviceman who passed away and leaving behind a wife, a son, and a daughter.

In 2005, we lost one of our close friends who was killed in a tragic accident. He was a popular and prominent figure in the adult soccer league in Gwinnett County and many who had played with him over the years wanted to raise money to help fund his daughter’s college fund. Because so many people knew him personally there was a huge outpouring of support for this event and four teams competed for The Father Christmas Cup trophy at Bethesda Park, including his old teammates from Pipers and Celtics. The Father Christmas Cup took off that year as the word spread throughout the Atlanta soccer community about the unique nature of the benefit.

Father-Chrstmas-Cup0928-300x221 Atlanta United Foundation becomes The Father Christmas Cup Platinum Sponsor for 2021

Unfortunately in 2006, we lost another local soccer player. He was playing soccer at Silverbacks Park with his Vintage Genesis teammates when he collapsed and was unable to recover. He left behind a wife and two sons. Four teams, Vintage Genesis, Pipers Silverbacks, and Atlanta Olde Stars North, and Atlanta Olde Stars South competed for the Father Christmas Cup and the Atlanta Silverbacks organization graciously donated the use of the fields for the fundraiser and have continued to support it ever since.

In 2007 we remembered another member of the local soccer community, who left behind a wife, son, and a daughter. His involvement in soccer in the Atlanta area ranges from his role as a key organizer in the early days of the Soccer Alley league (Buckhead) to volunteer coaching clinics in Roswell, to playing in several leagues, including Soccer Alley, Buckhead (Carl Sanders) YMCA, ADASL, CARSL and last, but not least, the Roswell Soccer Club Adult League. Again four teams participated with many of his former teammates coming out of retirement to play. Because of his involvement in the soccer community, the Father Christmas Cup took a huge step in its growth as new people volunteered to support the running of the event.

In 2008 we lost another close friend, a long-time recreational coach at Metro-North Park and father of three NASA/MNYSA players—a daughter and two sons. Coaching from Mighty Mites through U-12, he was a familiar figure at Metro-North, always ready to laugh or lend a helping hand. An avid supporter of the NASA TOP Soccer program, he was a strong presence in the goal for their Sunday afternoon games. We also remembered two other local players. One played recreational soccer and coached many teams in Roswell. He won a state championship with his U-10 Boys Team during his first year with Roswell and coached several girls’ teams from U-12 to U-19 age groups. The other played soccer with Majestic and was known for his big smile and love of the game.

What became apparent in 2009 was that as the reach of the Cup gets wider each year there is, it seems, more than just one family in need. The biggest challenge for the organizers has become the decision to determine which family to support, as, in the past, it was impractical to share funds between multiple families. The solution was to register the Father Christmas Cup, Inc with the State of Georgia as a Domestic Non-Profit Corporation and register as a Charitable Organization. As a result future funds collected can be divided between selected families in need each year. Another major benefit is that sponsors can now support the charity and deduct any contribution it may make.

The success of The Father Christmas Cup has been accomplished only because of the grassroots support and overwhelming generosity of the Atlanta soccer community.

By bob

A veteran soccer journalist who is an avid fan of Atlanta United and Lionel Messi.

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