The Philadelphia Union and the Mack Brady Soccer Fund — started in January 2013 by Honors College Dean Christian Brady after the death of his 8-year old son Mack — will team up on August 8 to host a charity dinner that will benefit the fund.
PPL Park, the Union’s stadium, will host the event, which will include appearances from six Penn State head coaches as well as Union goalie Zac MacMath and other members of the team. The dinner will also feature a silent auction with signed memorabilia from all of Penn State’s sports teams as well as some from Philadelphia.
“We’re really trying to make it broadly appealing for Penn State athletics fans,” Brady said.
The next day the Union will play the Montreal Union, and it has dubbed the game “Penn State Night.” Fans using the promotional code PENNSTATE14 to buy tickets online will receive a discount and the Union will donate $5 of each ticket to the Penn State general scholarship fund in memory of Mack (here’s a link with the code pre-filled).
Brady says that fund’s current objective is to make Penn State the premier place for collegiate goalkeepers, which hits close to home — Mack’s dream was to one day play goalie for the Nittany Lions.
“As far as we know, there is no other University in the nation that has this kind of emphasis and support for goalkeepers…the goal is for Penn State to be ‘GKU’ — GoalKeepers University,” Brady said. “We’re beginning to come up with designs of very specific training facilities we can design for goalkeepers, and already the coach has seen it help bring a couple of goalkeeping prospects to Penn State. And that’s very exciting, that what started out as a very modest ambition is really going to set Penn State completely apart.”
Brady said that in addition to the physical space, the fund hopes to develop special equipment for goalies, and install professional-grade equipment to help better train them. All of this, he hopes, will help Mack’s memory live on.
“The support has just been incredible. Nothing will replace Mack, but it makes us feel incredibly loved to know that so many people think of Mack and us…we know that Mack will be remembered at Penn State forever, and it’s a tremendous legacy,” he said. “The soccer community and the goalkeeping community are incredible, and to know that Mack’s 8-year old vision to play for Penn State and the national team can really elevate Penn State to be a national leader for goalkeepers is awesome. Mack would say, ‘it’s totally wicked.'”
More information about the dinner can be found here.