Hartford Athletic 2023 Community Wrap Up
HARTFORD, Conn. - Thanks to the support of the City, State, fans, and partners, Hartford Athletic continued to deliver on its mission to make the community the best place to live, work, and play in 2023. The club continues to expand on an already robust lineup of impactful community programming with a number of exciting new activations.
Green and Blue Foundation
Hartford Athletic launched the Green & Blue Foundation 501c3 in 2020, which strives to enhance the quality of life for youth and disadvantaged people in Connecticut. The Foundation focuses on making a difference for communities in need in support of five key Community Pillars: Health and Wellness, Diversity and Inclusion, Youth and Family Education, Economic Development, and Veterans and First Responder support. Here are this year's highlights:
Community Ticket Program
The Hartford Athletic Community Ticket Program presented by Travelers and Liberty Bank provides tickets through the Green & Blue Foundation to those who might not otherwise be able to attend a match. Thanks to the generosity of Travelers and Liberty Bank, over 15,000 tickets were donated to more than 20 different programs. Programs included Vet Tix, the Boys and Girls Club, Hartford Public Schools, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and more.
Community Champion Program
Global Atlantic Financial Group and Travelers supported our Community Champion Program. Thanks to their support, the Green & Blue Foundation was able to bring a large group of children from the Boys and Girls Club of Hartford to enjoy the last home game of the season.
As part of the Summer Reading Challenge, Hartford Public Schools and the Hartford Public Library partnered with the Green & Blue Foundation for "Sundays at the Stadium."
Families were invited to read on the field at Trinity Health Stadium on three Sundays during the summer. Students also participated in an on-field clinic sponsored by Gengras Motors and received free pizza and t-shirts!
Hartford Athletic and the Green & Blue Foundation hosted its second annual Camp Day, presented by Connecticut Children's in July. Over 500 kids from 7 different camps had the opportunity to come out to Trinity Health Stadium and enjoy an afternoon full of soccer.
For the first time, the Green & Blue Foundation, in partnership with The Hartford, hosted a Boys & Girls Club Field Day. 50 kids from the Asylum Hill Boys & Girls Club joined Hartford Athletic staff for a fun day of outdoor activities, soccer lessons, water games, and pizza.
The Club continued to expand on its strong corporate support with 73 corporate partners including Founding Partners Trinity Health of New England, Liberty Bank, Stanley Black & Decker, The Hartford, and Travelers. Key community elements are part of all corporate partnerships with this year's highlights below:
Community Health Night Presented by Trinity Health Of New England
On Saturday, June 3rd Hartford Athletic hosted the fifth annual Community Health Night presented by Trinity Health Of New England. Hartford Athletic would like to thank all of the groups who came out to table at the event: Men's Health Institute, Behavioral Health, Emergency Medicine, Neurology/Stroke, Cardiac Rehab, Mount Sinai Rehab, Sports Medicine Orthopedics, and New England Donor Services. Community Health Alley was packed all game with fans engaging with the Trinity groups!
Junior Fire Marshal Program Presented by The Hartford
The Hartford and Hartford Athletic teamed up for the fifth consecutive year to help educate young fans through the Junior Fire Marshal Program, which makes life-saving lessons about fire safety fun and engaging for kids and families.
Throughout the season, one lucky young fan at every home game was also chosen to participate in The Hartford's Junior Fire Marshal Halftime Challenge.
On June 24th, the fifth annual Junior Fire Marshal Night was hosted at Trinity Health Stadium. The first 1,000 children in attendance received a free Junior Fire Marshal Helmet. Prior to the game, a select group of children joined members of the Hartford Fire Department on the field to take the fire safety pledge and become deputized as official Junior Fire Marshals.
Match for a Cause Presented by Liberty Bank
Hartford Athletic and Liberty Bank collaborated for the first time on Match for a Cause. Each year, a local charity is chosen to be the beneficiary of an auction event featuring special autographed game-worn jerseys from the Match for a Cause. This year, we were proud to support the KNOX Foundation and our players sported uniquely designed black and purple uniforms on August 26th to add to the special night. The online auction, along with Liberty Bank's donation, raised over $20,000 for the KNOX Foundation.
KNOX was founded in 1966 by city councilwoman Betty Knox when she established a trust fund to help improve her hometown of Hartford, Connecticut. Two areas of focus were established - funding community development and operating "greening" programs. In 1976, the organization restructured, with KNOX continuing to lead programs to conserve and strengthen the city of Hartford and The Betty Knox Foundation providing grants to support Hartford residents. Now, KNOX is an ever-growing coalition of residents, volunteers, corporate partners, and community organizations that work to connect and empower communities to grow a greener, healthier Hartford.
Hartford Athletic would like to extend its gratitude to both the KNOX Foundation and Liberty Bank for all of their work to help make this year's Match for a Cause so successful.
Pediatric Cancer Awareness Night Presented by Connecticut Children's
On Wednesday, September 27th, Hartford Athletic hosted Pediatric Cancer Awareness Night presented by Connecticut Children's! Thanks to their generosity, a Connecticut Children's patient and their family was able to have the once in a lifetime experience of walking the ball out with the players and referees, and joining them on the field for the National Anthem. Thank you to Connecticut Children's for their continued support of our community.
Goals for Meals Campaign
For the third year in a row, Hartford Athletic has teamed up with Nuovo Pasta, Stop & Shop, and ConnectiCare to participate in the Goals for Meals program. For every Hartford Athletic goal scored throughout the season, our partner companies made meal donations to help fight against food insecurity in the Hartford Community. This year, over 1,000 meals were donated.
Stop & Shop also hosted a season-long Can Drive throughout 2023. Thanks to the amazing contributions from our fans, over 2,000 pounds of food were donated to the Stop & Shop School Food Pantry Program.
Gengras Motor Cars Drives
Gengras Motor Cars hosted two donation drives at Trinity Health Stadium this season. Gengras hosted a Back-to-School Drive at the Hartford Athletic match on August 26th and a coat drive at the season finale on October 13th. All back-to-school items were donated to the Boys and Girls Club of Hartford and the 200 coats donated during the coat drive were given to Button up Connecticut. Thank you to Gengras and all Hartford Athletic fans for supporting these amazing drives.
Safe Driving Night Presented by the CT Department of Transportation
While promoting safe driving during the month of June, this night was supported by CT Department of Transportation, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving M.A.D.D. sharing their very important message. Hartford Police Department and Corona Auto Body of Hartford provided a wrecked vehicle so fans could see first-hand the results of distracted and drunk driving.
Walk With a Doc
Thanks to AARP and Trinity Health Of New England, monthly Walks With a Doc started in October to get senior citizens exercising regularly. A medical professional from Trinity Health Of New England led each walk and talked to attendees about important ways to stay healthy and the benefits of walking on a regular basis.
Liberty Clean Up Day
Hartford Athletic is proud to work with Liberty Bank and the City of Hartford to clean the streets in the area surrounding our stadium and within Colt Park. Over 30 volunteers from both organizations stepped up and spent the morning of Earth Day,Saturday, April 22nd, helping make Hartford public spaces cleaner and more accessible for everyone.
Hartford Athletic continued to expand its mission to return Trinity Health Stadium to its status as a community hub by hosting major community events. The Capital City Music and Beer Festival brought six bands to Trinity Health Stadium, including headliners A Flock of Seagulls and Junior Marvin and the Legendary Wailers. Crowds of over a thousand people on each day filled the stadium for its first ever concert weekend.
Hartford Athletic and Trinity Health Stadium also welcomed several different local nonprofit and fundraising events, playing host to Dogstar Rescue's annual Bark n' Brewfest, Aurora Foundation's 100 Men Campaign, the Arthritis' Foundation's Walk to Cure Arthritis, and Covenant Prep's Field Day Fundraiser.
Trinity Health Stadium hosted high school sporting events again in 2023, and will continue to host the CIAC Boys and Girls Soccer State Championships through 2024. This year's eight championship matches took place on November 18th and 19th with four matches played on each day. In addition, Trinity Health Stadium hosted high school football and soccer senior nights throughout the fall, and served as the home field for the Sport and Medical Science Academy (SMSA).
In conjunction with the Connecticut Department of Labor, the Connecticut Department of Transportation, Eversource, Enjet Aero, Liberty Bank, USA Waste & Recycling, and Right at Home, Hartford Athletic hosted its third annual Hiring Expo, at Trinity Health Stadium on September 20th. In 2022, we were able to connect over 800 job-seekers with over 115 potential employers. This year we were thrilled to see the Hiring Expo grow yet again, as 120 employers over 900 potential job seekers filled the stadium. We are committed to providing pathways for everyone in our community through our year-round community pillars of support.
The club hosted its second annual STEM & Soccer Education Day on Wednesday, May 23rd, at Trinity Health Stadium. Over 2,500 students participated in the day, more than double the attendance from the previous year, with 20 unique projects from 17 different schools, partners and non-profits. Thanks to all of the schools for coming up with truly inspiring and groundbreaking projects.
Thank you to our partners CGI, Connecticut Department of Transportation, Hanwha Aerospace USA, Central Connecticut State University, Stanley Black & Decker, CHESLA, Enjet Aero, and Travelers for their support of our STEM and Soccer Education program. We look forward to expanding the program even more next season.
In March of 2023, Hartford Athletic unveiled its first official mascot: Dillon. The fuzzy and friendly creature immediately became a fan-favorite, becoming a staple of all Hartford Athletic home games and events. In addition, Dillon made a glowing impact on Hartford's community, immediately establishing a presence in the Greater Hartford area. He attended 40+ local festivals, soccer clinics, fundraisers, career fairs, elementary schools, hospitals, nonprofit events, sporting events, and more.
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