The Tampa Bay Rowdies are as committed to the local community as they are to soccer. While their on field heroics over the summer, helping inch them closer to a USL playoff berth, have garnered critical praise, the group’s new initiative may be even more inspiring.
On August 19, the Rowdies face the Ottawa Fury. During the match, the Rowdies, nine-year old Addison Kapustiak and her nonprofit, Sending Smiles, will host a toy collection. Donation boxes for new, unused toys and books will be placed outside the main gates. The toy drive is in preparation of the Rowdies #GOLDTOGETHER campaign to bring awareness to childhood cancer.
Kapustiak lives with a rare disease called TRAPS Syndrome and goes to Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital every other week to receive infusion treatments. On one visit, she noticed the prize closet, where kids go to pick out a toy when their treatment is finished, was down to almost nothing. Addison started a small toy drive to collect toys for the prize closet, which has now grown into the nonprofit Sending Smiles.
Tropical Smoothie Café will offer ½ off smoothies and Tijuana Flats will offer $5 Flats Cash for fans who bring a toy. All donations will go directly to Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital.