Harrisburg City Islanders Help Newtown Families

A local soccer team is showing its support for the victims of the Sandy Hook tragedy.

The Harrisburg City Islanders teamed up with the Newtown Pride FCU for a friendly match to help raise money for the families affected.

Everyone FOX43 talked with had a direct connection to the Newtown tragedy.

Players and managers of the Islanders say it just seemed like the right thing to do.

Head coach of the Newtown Pride, Michael Svanda, has lived in Sandy Hook for 43 years.

He knows the parents of the children who lost their lives just 6 months ago.

Svanda says the Islanders and their fans are helping more than they’ll ever know.

“The outreach from Harrisburg is phenomenal and it really does mean a lot from the people the town to understand that other communities really understand what we’re going through,” says head coach, Michael Svanda.

Newtown players say this is for the people affected everywhere.

“We’re aware that if something like this can happen to Newtown it can happen anywhere so it’s for everyone and we’re lucky to do it playing the sport that we love,” says Newtown plyaer, Matt Svanda.

All proceeds from Sunday’s game go to the Newtown Parent Connection which directly helps families who lost loved ones.

And although the two teams are playing against each other… today they play for Newtown.

“Anything we raise, it helps, if it’s a dollar, it helps somewhere down the road…even if we don’t make money on the event to give them I think it raises awareness and gives people thought that there’s other people out there that we need to care for,” says Harrisburg City Islanders General Manager, John Gregg.

Coach Svanda says this fundraiser speaks volumes.

“The fact that things are happening and coming to the town from farther out without disrupting the daily life of the town is really big,” says Michael Svanda.

And today, on a special day — shows just how important support truly is.

“It’s special to be here on Father’s Day in Harrisburg, everything they’ve done to have us here and give back to the town and be here with my dad is a real gift,” says Matt Svanda.

Green T-shirts that say “Today We Play For Newtown” were sold at the game for 20 dollars.