Blaine-based pro soccer event to raise funds for missing kids

Minnesota United FC will host a sleepover fundraising event to benefit the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, Saturday, Oct. 12 at the National Sports Center Stadium in Blaine.

The “TeamUP For Missing Children” fundraiser will begin Saturday, Oct. 12 at 8 p.m. and conclude Sunday morning, Oct. 13 at 6 a.m. All proceeds from the event will be donated to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

“We are thrilled to host the first event of this kind with the National Sports Center and bring to light such a critical issue in our communities locally and nationally,” said United President Nick Rogers.

“Protecting our children is crucial for our future and we hope this event can raise money and bring awareness to children in our communities that need our help the most.”

There are up to 2,000 children reported missing every day in the United States, according to John Ryan, chief executive officer of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

“This event is for them, to show they are not forgotten and to help bring them home. We are grateful to Minnesota United FC and their fans for supporting our work to find missing children and prevent the abduction and sexual exploitation of children.”

The 10-hour sleepover event will kickoff with a replay of the club’s game that night versus the Atlanta Silverbacks on a pop-up screen on the field. The screen will also show a movie following the game; other festivities include soccer-themed games, soccer inflatables and appearances from Minnesota United players.

An area on the field will be reserved for participants that would like to sleep during the course of the night and guests are encouraged to bring their own blankets and sleeping bags. Chick-fil-a will also be providing sandwiches for everyone at the event and complimentary drinks will be available as well.

To participate in the event, individuals can go to MNUnitedFC.com/sleepover. The online registration site allows participants to set up a fundraising page of their own, through which they can contact friends and family to ask for donations. Donors can go directly to the fundraising page and make a donation online.

Participants are asked to set a goal of raising $500 each for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, but they must raise a minimum of $50 in order to attend the event on Oct. 12. Children are encouraged to participate and an adult must accompany each child for the duration of the event at the stadium.

The Atlanta Silverbacks are also hosting a “TeamUP for Missing Children” fundraiser Oct. 12 following the game. The two clubs will be playing for the TeamUP Challenge Cup – but the winner of the trophy will be decided off the field, not by the result of the game at Silverbacks Park.

The trophy will be awarded to the team that inspires the most people to sign up on their team’s First Giving website to participate in the event. The number of commitments will be the deciding factor between the Silverbacks and United, rather than the amount of money that is raised or who scores the most goals during the NASL game.

Minnesota United FC — formerly the Minnesota Stars —plays in the eight-team North American Soccer League (NASL). Find out more about Minnesota United atMNUnitedFC.com, Facebook.com/MNUnitedFC, and on Twitter @MNUnitedFC.

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 1984. Designated by Congress to serve as the nation’s clearinghouse on issues related to missing and exploited children, the organization operates the toll-free 24-hour national missing children’s hotline which has handled more than 3,810,000 calls. It has assisted law enforcement in the recovery of more than 188,000 children.

The organization’s CyberTipline has handled more than 2,088,000 reports of child sexual exploitation and its child victim identification program has reviewed and analyzed more than 94,943,000 child pornography images and videos. The organization works in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

To learn more about NCMEC, call its toll-free, 24-hour hotline at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) or visit its website atwww.missingkids.com. Follow NCMEC on Twitter and like NCMEC on Facebook.

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