BOYDS, Md (June 24, 2016) – Washington Spirit vs Orlando Pride fans came together in many public displays during the their sold-out match at the Maryland SoccerPlex on Saturday, June 18, but it was perhaps the least public display that will make the most direct impact for those directly afflicted by the tragedy at Pulse nightclub in Orlando two weeks ago. On short notice, Washington Spirit front office staff decided to hold a raffle along side their standard free game-day prize drawing, and raised an impressive $3,402 that has already been sent to One Orlando Fund.
The Spirit front office realized they had a signed jersey of Orlando native and former Spirit goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris on hand, and raffling it could offer a small donation to support the victims of the Orlando tragedy. Although the Spirit knew its fans were generous, donations exceeded expectations especially considering a lack of promotion time.
The jersey raffle was just one of many tributes during Saturday’s match. First, a moment of silent reflection was observed by all before the game got underway. Then perhaps the most powerful tribute occurred in the 49th minute, just after the start of the second half. In honor of the 49 victims, the capacity crowd stood and respectfully filled the stadium with applause; while the players took it upon themselves to actually stop play on the field without a referee whistle to be heard. Washington midfielder Diana Matheson and Harris were among those who led the players in joining in the fans’ applause.
All proceeds from the Ashlyn Harris jersey raffle have been sent to the One Orlando Fund. If you would like to join the Spirit in supporting the fund, please click here and donate.