Who would have thought that our elementary school pastime would bring over a hundred people together? Who would have thought that it would send impoverished children to school?
Being a second generation Pilipina from the states, questions regarding identity and a sense of self is pretty common. Am I simply a US American? Am I Pilipina? And, on a more personal level with the consideration that I’m the daughter of a Philippines non-profit founder, how do I connect my citizenship with the homeland?
Three years ago, Sam@Empire had the idea that we host a summer event for Empire and Project PEARLS by creating a kickball tournament fundraiser. This was the perfect opportunity to answer the identity-crisis questions.
The kickball tournament brings the Bay Area community together and bridges the gap between Bay Area Filipinos and the homeland with fun and the eagerness to give.
I am Fil-Am.
Quite frankly, I’m not sure if Sam@Empire was initially joking when we started talking about hosting a kickball tournament…
Joking or not, we hosted our biggest one yet this past Saturday!
7 teams from Sacramento, the Bay Area, and even Arizona came together to compete and support the Project PEARLS mission of providing impoverished children in Manila an opportunity for a better life. And, by the looks of it, they got a kick out of it. (Corny, I know. I’ve been waiting all day to say it.)
Don’t the team captains look like tough cookies?
We happily continued our collaboration with Akbayan SJSU and this year, the Global Filipino Network joined us! Thank you Cassidy Tarng and Mia Guevarra from Akbayan SJSU and Arnold Pedrigal from Global Filipino Network!
Together, we created a behind-the-scenes dream team.
And for the day of the tournament, we had a great set of referees that assured our games were fun and fair.
This year’s kickball tournament was truly a beautiful site. My mind is still trying to wrap around that over 100 people came from California to Arizona to help our cause. You are all amazing! (3 teams not pictured)
Here is the 2015 Can You Kick it Bracket:
Congratulations to our Arizonians Balls N Dolls for winning first place!
And thank you to EVERYONE who made this year’s tournament such a success. You are all amazing. (Two teams not photographed)
Because of you, we can send 9 children to school! This includes their school supplies, uniforms and food!
Again, thank you. We will see you all again on the field next year!
You can view ALL the photos here!
– written by ChiChai@Empire and photographed by Ray@Empire
P.s. Thank you to our sponsors:
Kalesa, Good Bites Cafe, William Bradenburg and Noah’s Bagels, Heavenly Ice Cream, and Global Filipino Network.