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.

Sons of Ben and MLSPhilly2010 team up to “Help Kick Hunger”

CHESTER, PA (December 13, 2008) – Today, Major League Soccer (MLS) Philadelphia 2010 and the Sons of Ben, the Major League Soccer Philadelphia supporters association, were joined by Chester Mayor’s Chief of Staff Thomas Moore to deliver a $2,501 check and 600 pounds of food from the Sons of Ben’s second annual “Help Kick Hunger” canned food drive to the Bernardine Center in Chester, Pa. The Bernardine Center is a non-profit organization that distributes food and supplies to low-income Chester residents. “Our commitment to this community and to improving the quality of life for the people within it is our top priority,” said Nick Sakiewicz, CEO & Operating Partner, Keystone Sports & Entertainment, the ownership group of MLS Philadelphia 2010. “We are proud to team up with the Sons of Ben on this important initiative and truly appreciate their dedication to the Bernardine Center and the great city of Chester.”

Earlier this month, MLS Philadelphia 2010 got involved by asking attendees of their stadium groundbreaking ceremony to bring canned food contributions. MLS Philadelphia not only collected a significant number of cans, they also made a matching donation of $500.

“We’re so proud of all we’ve accomplished since we began “Help Kick Hunger” just last year,” said Bryan James, president of the Sons of Ben. “Even though corporate and personal donations have decreased nationwide, the passion and commitment of the Sons of Ben members—at a time when our future neighbors need it most—is astounding. We owe a lot to the generous support of the team, the fans and the community. As soccer fans in Philadelphia, we have so much to be grateful for this year so it is great to be able to give back to Chester.”

In light of these increasingly hard economic times, the Sons of Ben, one of Major League Soccer’s largest supporters groups, were able to help meet the needs of Chester’s residents by significantly raising their donations from just over 550 pounds of food and $1,500 last year to more than 600 pounds of food and $2,501—which also alludes to the address of the new home of MLS Philadelphia stadium, 2501 Seaport Drive, Chester, Pa.

Established in 1991, the Bernardine Center is a non-profit organization that provides a helping hand to low-income Chester residents by distributing emergency or supplemental food and supplies. The Center also offers educational, spiritual and advocacy programs to help clients build better lives for themselves, their families and communities.

For more information on the Sons of Ben or to learn how you can “Help Kick Hunger”, please visit www.sonsofben.com. For more information on MLS Philadelphia 2010, please visit www.mlsphilly2010.com.

ABOUT KEYSTONE SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT, LLC Keystone Sports and Entertainment, LLC, is the Major League Soccer Philadelphia 2010 ownership group. It is comprised of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of iStar Financial Jay Sugarman, CEO and Operating Partner Nick Sakiewicz, Christopher and Robert Buccini and David Pollin, founding partners of The Buccini/Pollin Group, Swarthmore Group Chairman James Nevels, and Philadelphia attorney William Doran. For more information about MLS Philadelphia 2010, visit www.mlsphilly2010.com.

ABOUT MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER Headquartered in New York City, Major League Soccer is the top-flight professional soccer league in the United States and features many stars from the United States and around the world. The League’s 13th season kicked off March 29. The 14 teams in MLS are: the Chicago Fire, Colorado Rapids, Chivas USA, Columbus Crew, D.C. United, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo, Kansas City Wizards, Los Angeles Galaxy, Red Bull New York, New England Revolution, Real Salt Lake, San Jose Earthquakes and Toronto FC. The League’s 15th team, Seattle, will begin play in 2009, and 16th team, Philadelphia, will begin play in 2010. For more information about MLS, log on to the League’s official web site at www.MLSnet.com.

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