A Word From Kenny Hanson- President, Sons of Ben #2
With less than 24 hours to go before the 2015 Philadelphia Union season kicks off, we would like to reflect on what was a very positive 2014 for the Sons of Ben.
2014 was a very strong year both in the stadium and in the community for the Sons of Ben. On the evening of September 16th, 2014 we witnessed the first U.S. Open Cup final held at PPL Park. The passion and noise radiating from PPL rivaled anything the MLS has ever seen. While the outcome was not what we were all dreaming for, our boys in blue fought hard and left everything they had out on the field. Within 24 hours of the match ending, we were receiving emails from all over the world about the environment at PPL. An email from the leadership of the Seattle Sounders supporter group the Emerald City Supporters said, "You guys have really built something special in Philly, you should be very proud". While another email from close to home stated "I have season tickets to the Eagles and the Phillies, tonight I brought my son to his first ever MLS match and it was the greatest sports night of our entire lives". The sentiments of those statements are a direct reflection of your support and loyalty to this team...Ad Finem Fidelis.
In 2014, the Sons of Ben had a record breaking year in charitable givings and support for our local community. We raised over $50,000 last year to help our local community, the organizations we partnered with include: The Bernadine Center, Unified Soccer Philly - Special Olympics, FORCE, the Philadelphia Foundation, St. Baldricks, Chester Elk Lodge, William Trippley Youth Development Foundation, Junior Lone Star Football, Keystone Wounded Warriors, Delaware County SPCA, ACCT Philadelphia, Camden Youth Soccer among several others. This was only attainable because of YOU. Our members are who make the organization great in every aspect and we thank you for your generosity.
As we prepare for tomorrow, we are full of many emotions: happiness, excitement, anxiousness, nervousness, among many others. Tomorrow we start a new era of game day experiences in the newly designated SoB Lot with a building that will be the center for the organization for years to come. Tailgates have undergone a transformation that foster inclusion as our top priority! The Sons of Ben Rowdy Style Ale will be brewed again this year, our agreements and partnerships continue to grow with like-minded organizations and the U.S world premiere of the Sons of Ben movie on June 10th will be one of the largest events in our history!
The 2015 season is here and it is going to be a hell of a ride. We are going to make mistakes along the way, we aren't flawless. We encourage you to provide us feedback and get involved where and when you can. We are all in this together. We will share in our victories and defeats together, our successes and our failures, our times of strength and our times of weakness. No matter what, we will go through it together...tomorrow, let's be great together!