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Mia Hamm helps kick-off fundraising event

Vermont's young soccer players have a new friend, soccer legend, Mia Hamm, the only five-time recipient of the U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year award.

Hamm, along with Vermont Soccer Association and Lucas Sports are launching an innovative and fun fundraiser to benefit Vermont Soccer Association, Stern Center for Language and Learning, Cancer Patient Support Program, Vermont Top Soccer and the Mia Hamm Foundation.

Players who raise the most money will meet the soccer legend herself at the Vermont's fundraiser's celebration, the Soccer showcase with Mia Hamm. Mia Hamm said, "I'm thrilled to team up with Vermont Soccer Association and Lucas Sports to raise both money and awareness for their charities and my foundation. I can't wait to meet the young soccer players of Vermont!"

On a select weekend this fall all Vermont-registered soccer players ages 5-16 will play in the Play Hard, Play Fair Charity Tribute to Youth Soccer in Vermont sponsored by Vermont Soccer Association. Players can choose to be part of the fundraising however, they will play in the tribute even if they don't actively fundraise.

Players must register for the fundraiser at www.vermontsoccerplayhardplayfair.org.

During the fundraising campaign, as players collect donations toward their cumulative, individual goal, they will receive, at the:

$50 level: A flexible wrist band engraved with Mia Hamm's "Play Hard, Play Fair" message and a congratulatory thank you letter from her.

$150 level: An event-customized youth soccer ball.

$250 level: An invitation to attend, with a guest, the Soccer showcase with Mia Hamm in Vermont.

Meg Munson, Executive Director of Vermont Soccer Association, says, "We are very excited to introduce Mia Hamm to soccer's future stars growing up right here in Vermont. We are also thrilled to partner with her to generate funds and increase awareness for our local charities and her foundation. This is teamwork at its best!"

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