2017 may not have played out that well on the pitch, but in the parking lot we absolutely killed it. Obviously the tailgate crew put together the best food in all the land and we had more fun than fans of a team outside the playoffs should be allowed to have, but I’m not talking about any of that. I’m talking about the amount of money we raised for various charities over the course of this season.
Starting in 2015 with the arrival of Saint Louis FC the Louligans experienced exponential growth. With more people showing up at games and events we realized we had an opportunity to have a lot more fun and use our platform to do some good. We had always done small things to help the local food bank or contribute to food/clothing/school supply/toy drives, but with hundreds of people showing up at our tailgate parties we had a responsibility to up our game.
In 2015 we did an all out fundraiser for the St. Louis Area Foodbank that drew in $13,310. In 2016 we thought we should divide up the good we did and came up with Charity Du Jour. About half the season we picked some different charities and set out a jar for collections. We also added a few raffles and contests to help boost the numbers and ended up with $10,271.
For 2017 we decided to go all out. Charity Du Jour expanded to every home match. More raffles. More merch sales for charity. More tickets exchanged for donations. It got pretty crazy. Some weeks were huge and some weeks were modest. The key was to never give up. With the losses on the field attendance also dwindled at the Park, but those who kept coming doubled down and made more donations. Early in the season, Saint Louis FC’s Jim Kavanaugh & Tom Strunk pledged to donate $10,000 to split among whatever charities we selected. At that point it became our goal to raise at least another $10,000 to match their generosity. Jim & Tom and the whole STLFC family have been very good to us over the first 3 years of the team’s existence. They’ve always contributed generously to our charity efforts be it with money, food, raffle prizes or just encouragement and support.
The final total for our 2017 Charity Du Jour program is $21,144. Our 3 year total is $44,725. Not too bad for a bunch of day drinkers with a soccer addiction.
None of this would be possible without all of you. Whether you donated $1 or $10,000. Or maybe you retweeted our weekly updates. Or gave us an extra ticket. Or told a friend. Maybe you gave one of the merch tent people a beer. Maybe you just hung out at the tailgate party and made it an event worth coming to that allowed us to get a few more bucks for a good cause. Whatever your contribution was, we thank you. We hope you all take great pride in this accomplishment and brag about it a little bit. We’re humbled and incredibly proud that we’ve risen to this amazing challenge.
We’ll be back at it in 2018. Who knows how much we’ll raise and who we’ll raise it for. It really doesn’t matter. All that matters is that we keep having fun and trying to make the world a little better. Of course we’d like to have a few more wins on the field too. We’ll be in the parking lot before every game just like always. Come by next year and throw a few bucks in the jar.
The Organizations we supported this season:
Hurricane Harvey Relief