COLUMBUS – The Columbus Crew will once again celebrate 614 Day across the city during multiple community engagements, presented by Wendy’s, on Wednesday (June 14). The Club’s focus is making a meaningful impact with its efforts at local mini-pitches, supported by community and corporate partners, to further advance education and grow access to youth soccer throughout Central Ohio while embracing the spirit of Columbus.
On 614 Day, the Black & Gold will host events that unify the Crew, youth and the entire City of Columbus at mini-pitches during Soccer For All Month. Crew leadership, First Team players and Crew 2 members will contribute to festive atmospheres at Northgate Intermediate School, Blackburn Community Center, Sullivant Gardens Community Center and Whitehall YMCA.
“Columbus has always supported the Crew in incredible ways, and 614 Day gives us a platform unique to our city when we can show appreciation to our fans and local community and corporate leaders like Columbus City Schools, Columbus Recreation and Parks and Wendy’s.” said President of Business Operations Kristin Bernert, who grew up in Stow, Ohio and earned a master’s in sports management from The Ohio State University. “Columbus continues to experience tremendous growth while staying true to its core values, including supporting one another. Our Club will always identify opportunities to further elevate and advance our city, highlighted by our commitment to Columbus’ future through education and youth soccer initiatives.”
“We have the honor of representing our city on the pitch, and we are just as passionate about giving back to Columbus with our pillars of education and youth soccer,” said President and General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko, a Westerville, Ohio native. “While the Club is committed to community efforts throughout the year, 614 Day is a special time to celebrate everything that makes Columbus a great place to call home, including our supporters and community and corporate partners. Together, we can make a significant impact to improve education and youth soccer participation for the long-term benefit of our region.”
Each mini-pitch location will offer exciting opportunities for Columbus youth to play soccer with Crew players and personnel, accompanied by entertaining elements for all family members. Additionally, one local community site will receive a special surprise-and-delight moment, courtesy of Wendy’s, following an online fan vote.
Parents and guardians are encouraged to enroll their kids for 614 Day soccer activities at each site via thecrewyouth.sportngin.com/register/form/168096132.
As a proud partner of the Columbus Crew and 614 Day, multiple Wendy's restaurants near the four designated mini-pitch locations will have Crew representatives handing out Crew swag and engaging with the community as part of the local holiday. Wendy’s is also elevating the Crew’s 614 Day experiences by assisting the youth soccer movement at many Columbus locations and community centers, as well as sharing free Frostys coupons at each mini-pitch.
The Crew have installed five mini-pitches in Greater Columbus during the past four years, including at Northgate Intermediate Schools, Blackburn Community Center and Sullivant Gardens Community Center. The mini-pitches are part of the club’s commitment to grow the game and strengthen youth engagement and the local communities overall.
Community leaders contributing to 614 Day activations include Columbus City Schools; Columbus Recreation and Parks; Columbus Zoo; Adaptive Sports Connection; Ohio Blind Soccer; Ronald McDonald House Charities Central Ohio; Kaleidoscope Youth Center; Big Brothers Big Sisters Hispanic Mentorship; Girls on the Run; Mid-Ohio Food Collective; Ohio Hispanic Coalition; Whitehall YMCA; and more.
In preparation for 614 Day, Captain and Midfielder Darlington Nagbe, along with his family, welcomed local community and corporate partners for a Pump-Up Party in the Crew Locker Room at Lower.com Field on June 7. Nagbe contributed 614 adidas soccer balls that were inflated during the event and will be presented to Columbus youth on Wednesday. The Akron native was assisted by volunteers from the Columbus Crew, including Bernert and Bezbatchenko; Wendy’s; Columbus City Schools; Columbus Recreation & Parks; Adaptive Sports Connection; Ohio Blind Soccer; Lower.com; Nationwide; Huntington Bank; and EASE Logistics.
As part of the club’s year-round efforts to advance participation in and a love of the beautiful game, the Crew are celebrating Soccer For All in June. Through MLS WORKS’ Soccer For All, the Black & Gold and teams across the league emphasize that soccer provides opportunities to unify local communities and people across the globe through their passion for the sport, regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status.
Columbus will host its Soccer For All themed night, presented by Zenni Optical, at Lower.com Field on Saturday, June 24 against Nashville SC [7:30 p.m. ET / MLS Season Pass on Apple TV / 97.1 The Fan (English); La Mega 103.1 FM (Spanish)]. Single-match tickets are available at ColumbusCrew.com/tickets.
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