Rady Children’s Hospital has been a partner with San Diego Loyal SC since the club’s inception. So, it’s no surprise that our local USL Championship club goes out of its way to help one of the best children’s health care centers in the country.
“When you see the work that they do at Rady Children’s Hospital, the way they’re engaged with their patients, you just understand how comforting or how much easier the process can possibly be for families in what can be such a hard and difficult time for them,” says Loyal SC Owner Andrew Vassiliadis.
A year ago, the Loyal held a virtual fundraiser for Rady with a goal of $25,000 as an attempt to replace some of the fundraising events that were put on hold due to COVID-19. They raised $75,000. So, this year, the Loyal are doing it again with an even loftier goal.
“The goal should always get larger,” says Vassiliadis. “That’s one of the tenets of this club, competition, so we hit a number last year and we knew we could do better this year.”
The new goal is $100,000. This year’s event is called “Loyal to Inclusion” and the main beneficiary will be Rady’s Center for Gender-Affirming Care. Its mission is to provide a supportive place for transgender, nonbinary and gender non-conforming youths and their families.
There are three teams competing: the Loyal first team, Loyal Select, and the Locals Supporters group. Anyone wanting to help can donate any amount they’re comfortable with to any of those three entities.
“I was so impressed with the way our community responded raising $75,000. There was a lot of trauma that happened to people last year in their own lives, as far as what their own job security looked like, what their family planning looked like, and for us to do that last year was incredible,” says Vassiliadis. “Anything you can do to help this year will always receive a big thank you from this club. It’s not lost on me or anyone the sacrifices that people make on their own just to help us out a little bit.”
Loyal SC has been at the athletic forefront of supporting racial and gender equality. Vassiliadis, a San Diego native, has seen (and is infinitely impressed by) what his hometown can do when it’s asked to help those who need it.
“That’s the one thing people will say: we’re not L.A., we’re not full of Fortune 500 and all this corporate money that’s out here. But, the people that are here that care about the community of San Diego, they step up when they’re asked to.”
Now it’s time to step up again. The fundraiser runs through August 27. For information on how to donate, click here.