Support from the Norden, benefiting our West End Community
A stampede of northern suburbanites in uniforms of orange and blue will soon invade the West End to march the streets, land at the Pitch for a drink, and end up at the Bailey in TQL stadium to cheer on their favorite team. Unlike most invaders, the Norden Supporters group deeply cares about the community they seek to invade. Recently, they donated $5,000 to St. Vincent de Paul in order to benefit the West End community.
The Norden Supporters is a FC Cincinnati fan group with members predominantly located north of Cincinnati past interstate 275. The soccer-oriented group is comprised of hundreds of members, many of whom have kids playing in soccer leagues of their own.
To kick-off their season, the group annually hosts a fundraising event to raise money for St. Vincent de Paul to benefit the West End community. This year’s event was held on February 11 at their game day fort, Grainworks Brewing Company. Nearly four hundred people turned up.
The Norden Supporters hosted a Split the Pot fundraiser and a silent auction with over 40 items including bourbon baskets, soccer balls signed by players, and FCC ticket passes. Grainworks allocated 10% of all drink sales to the event. An increase in turnout resulted in the supporters raising $2,000 more this year. Overall, they were able to donate $5,000 to the St. Vincent de Paul Charitable Pharmacy.
The annual event comes to together by the hands of the group’s community, according to the Norden Supporters founder and president Chris Marshall. Members provide almost every gift for the silent auction. The winner of the Spilt the Pot gave all his earnings back to the fundraiser. The band, Bofus, did not take any money for their performance. These are only a few examples of the generosity from members in this group.
“For our group, the generosity of spirit is a value as great as the soccer itself,” said Chris. “We want to love this city in a way that showcases for itself.”
The Norden Supporters continue to pick St. Vincent de Paul as their charitable organization due to the non-profit’s service to the West End. The Norden Supporters acknowledge the community members who were displaced during FC Cincinnati’s path to become an MLS team. Besides listening to the voices of local residents, the group also takes into account their impact on the community.
“I initially understood residents in the West End community are hosting us,” said Chris. “We are using their businesses and marching in their streets. But I don’t want it to be an us versus them: there is only all of us. So how do we figure this out, what does it look like for us to be a good neighbor?”
Supporting fan groups like Norden Supporters hold an important role in ensuring the FC Cincinnati club provides opportunities for jobs and education development as well as outreach to neighbors. This accountability helps both members of the Norden Supporters, and FCC be good neighbors to the West End community.