Foundation generates $38,000 at Served with the Pros

CINCINNATI – The FC Cincinnati Foundation collected $38,000 in donations at its first experiential fundraising “Orange & Blue Experiences” series event – Served by the Pros – on Sunday night. The first event of its kind for the club, the FC Cincinnati welcomed patrons to the event at Eddie Merlot’s.

FCC players and coaches – including Mathieu Deplagne, Greg Garza, Nick Hagglund, Justin Hoyte, Emmanuel Ledesma, Kekuta Mannah, Spencer Richey, Maikel van der Werff and goalkeepers coach Jack Stern – served as bartenders and waiters during the event, competing for tips that were donated to the foundation. (Ledesma won the night’s top prize after earning the highest tip total.)

Additional funds were raised through both a live auction and a raffle of high-end prizes, which included a wine tasting for 10 at Eddie Merlot’s, an expense-paid trip to the 2020 FCC game in Atlanta, and a expense-paid trip to visit multiple wineries in Napa.

Event sponsors included Turner Construction, All Occasions, Copper Cane Wines, Eddie Merlot’s, El Jimador, Hyde Park Floral & Garden, Nothing Bundt Cakes Mason, Miller Coors, Old Forester, Q102, Touchstone, Trophy Awards, Turner Construction and Woodford Reserve.

“We’re so pleased by the response and turn out for our first ‘Orange and Blue Experiences’ event,” said Kate Solomon, FC Cincinnati Foundation Executive Director. “We have heard from attendees that they had an incredible time and enjoyed seeing our players and staff in a very different light. And our players really enjoyed the interactions they had and the competition among themselves to see who provided the ‘best’ service during the event.

“The generosity of our sponsors and event partners was a big reason why this event was so successful and we greatly appreciate the support they provided our first-ever event. We’re looking forward to additional fundraising programs that give our fans more opportunities to experience our club in different ways while helping a great cause,” Solomon said.


What “Orange & Blue Experiences” Support

“Orange & Blue Experiences” – including Served by the Pros and Ladies Lace Up, which will be held on Oct. 17 at the Mercy Health Training Center – support the FC Cincinnati Foundation’s mission to improve the lives of children through soccer. 

To achieve these goals, the Foundation offers an ambitious and engaging slate of programming that includes the School Ambassador Program, Soccer for Soccer (in partnership with the U.S. Soccer Foundation), Learning is Cool, the West End Pride Soccer Team and Mini Pitch builds in the Greater Cincinnati area.

The FC Cincinnati Foundation also provides grants to support community-building initiatives in Cincinnati’s West End community and to not-for-profit organizations with aligned missions. 

In 2019, the Foundation’s efforts will have a direct impact on more than 35,000 Cincinnati-area children.



The FC Cincinnati Foundation was launched in December to support transformational change for Cincinnati-area children and impact positive differences in children in underserved communities. The FC Cincinnati Foundation will offer programming to support character development, and both physical and mental well-being while also focusing on community service. Using soccer as a catalyst to reinforce character values to children who may otherwise not have the support, the FC Cincinnati Foundation’s programming will initially focus its efforts in Cincinnati’s West End neighborhood before gradually spreading further into the Greater Cincinnati community. Fans can follow along with the FC Cincinnati Foundation’s community work through its social media channels: @FCC_Foundation on Twitter, /FCCincyFoundation on Facebook and @FCCFoundation on Instagram.