Sons of Ben

The Sons of Ben is a 501(c) (3) Pennsylvania based non-profit, membership organization.

The Sons of Ben, founded in January 2007, exists to support and develop the Delaware Valley soccer community. Through active, grassroots support, the Sons of Ben helped establish the momentum leading to the creation of the Philadelphia Union of Major League Soccer (MLS) and the Philadelphia Independence of the Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) league. In forging a relationship with Chester City, Delaware County and Pennsylvania State political leaders along with Major League Soccer, the vocal support of the group directly influenced the decision to award Philadelphia with an MLS franchise.

The Sons of Ben have provided a social outlet for soccer supporters to share common interests and be part of a larger community of sports fans in the 4th largest American media market. The organization has grown to include over 5,000 members throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and around the world. The Sons of Ben have also grown to oversee the Delaware Valley Infantry, a US Soccer supporters group based in Philadelphia region, and the Daughters of Betsy, a Philadelphia Independence (WPS) supporters group.
Charitable and philanthropic efforts have been central to the Sons of Ben since its founding, as evidenced by annual initiatives supporting the Bernardine Center in Chester, PA through its Help Kick Hunger campaign and ongoing efforts to support various other organizations close to the Delaware Valley soccer community.

The coming months will start a new chapter in the organizations noteworthy story with many historical events marking the arrival of the Philadelphia Union, Philadelphia Independence and the Sons of Ben into the national spotlight.

A Word From Kenny Hanson- President, Sons of Ben

Hello Everyone.  2014 has been an extremely up and down year for the Sons of Ben.  So far, we have experienced some successes never before seen by this organization, yet our hearts remain heavy due to the passing of Jessie Miele and Eric Shertz.  It is difficult to move on, but we move on together, which helps us heal.  Both of these individuals added something very unique to The River End, and they will never be forgotten.

The character of the people that support this organization is what makes the Sons of Ben strong.  I think that is best represented in what we, as a 501(c)(3), do for our community.  In 2014, the Sons of Ben have donated over $21,000 in direct charitable givings, in addition to the thousands of pounds of food that we give away every year.  This is more than we have donated in any single year previously, and we are only in early June.  We still have many charitable events coming up in the near future and look forward to your continued support.

Additionally, we have grown a few partnerships this year.  The largest being with Yards Brewery.  Yards recently produced the Sons of Ben Rowdy Style Ale, a Belgium Pale Ale.  Personally, I felt it exceeded all expectations.  We have gotten extremely positive feedback.  Unfortunately, the beer was so popular it sold out, so if your local pub still has some on draft, I would take advantage of it.  I am hoping to meet with Yards in the near future to see about producing another batch, as 100 kegs were sold in just under a month.  What makes this partnership so special is that not only were they able to produce a quality product, they are quality people.  Many organizations and companies want to partner with us, but I think it is important that we work with class individuals as well...Yards is pure class.  I've said this a few times, but I feel if the Sons of Ben was a brewery, we would be Yards.

We have also started working with a few pubs and restaurants in the area.  Recently, we reached an agreement with Fado that any Sons of Ben member will receive 15% off of their entire check upon showing their 2014 Sons of Ben card.  We are looking at expanding that program with a number of other local establishments to better serve our members.  We expect to be announcing several more partnerships similar to this in the very near future.  

I am very excited to see what the 2nd half of the year will bring.  River Cup, SoB Board Elections (more on that soon), new partnerships, great tailgates and most importantly, a number of charity events for great causes are all on deck.  

© copyright 2014, Sons of Ben.  Main image by Earl Gardner.