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11.13.15 - Blues Partner Again With River Of Refuge To Get Back On The Roof & Promote Rugby Gold Cup Championship

Rooftop Blues for River of Refuge

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The Kansas City Blues are again partnering with River of Refuge, a local nonprofit aiding homeless families, for an extreme fundraising stunt. Nearly 20 months after raising over $30K for the River of Refuge through Rooftop Blues, the KC Blues Rugby players will again sleep on the roof (rain, snow or shine) of the River of Refuge transitional living center to raise money and show support for the city's first-of-its-kind comprehensive transitional housing facility dedicated solely to homeless working families living in motels.

The entire Blues team will go up on the roof of the three-story building on the afternoon of Monday, November 9th through Tuesday, November 10th. One of the top rugby clubs in the country and the defending Champions of the Midwest Rugby Premiership, the Kansas City Blues are a nationally renowned team but have made it a priority to get more involved in its local community through nonprofit work and fundraising – having first helped raise funding and awareness for River of Refuge in February 2014.

In partnership with the Blues, the River of Refuge is promoting the Blues’ inclusion in the inaugural Rugby Gold Cup competition, a premiership level tournament featuring the top men’s clubs from the Midwest and Red River Competitive Regions (CRs). The Kansas City Blues RFC will host Rounds 1 & 2 of the CR cross-over tournament on November 13th – 15th, 2015, at the Championship Stadium of the Sporting Kansas City Training Facility at Swope Soccer Village in Kansas City, MO. River of Refuge is marketing the Gold Cup to its network of media and supporting organizations, and is offering complimentary tickets to the matches to all donors who contribute to this latest River of Refuge Rooftop Blues campaign. Additionally, the Blues will donate 50% of all walk-up ticket sale profits from Friday night’s matches to River of Refuge.

"We created a strong relationship with River of Refuge last year and are excited to be working with this organization again," said Kansas City Blues Rugby Club President, Derek Mannell. "In 2014 we were able to raise tens of thousands of dollars in a similar fundraising stunt. We’re happy to get involved again this year to do what we can to help open the doors of River of Refuge so they can better serve homeless Kansas City families.”

The Kansas City Blues have scheduled a practice training session on the grounds of the River of Refuge prior to "taking their position" on the roof at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, November 9th.

Blues players and supporters will approach friends, family, business associates and the general public to raise funds through the website www.rooftopblues.com where there is an easy-to-use, safe online donation process. Players individual web cameras will broadcast live the activities of the Blues teammates as they camp out on the roof and use social media to spread the awareness of their fundraising stunt.

This second Rooftop Blues event will aid River of Refuge to open its first 11 apartments, which will offer free temporary refuge for working parents and their children in one single location. The former Park Lane Hospital sat vacant for more than a decade before River of Refuge purchased it and began rehabbing the building.

"The Blues partnership has been a tremendous community asset to River of Refuge and is exactly the kind of thing we enjoy being a part of. It helps us raise the much-needed funds we need to open our doors to help families and it helps us build awareness for this dire problem,” said John Wiley, founder and president of River of Refuge.

  • Through its data and research, River of Refuge estimates that as many as 300 to 400 working families are living in motels with their children throughout Greater Kansas City on any given night.
  • River of Refuge had to turn away 105 families in 2014 because the organization did not have the facility to house them nor the funds to support them.
  • It is a specific mission of River of Refuge to help working families get out of motels, teach them to live independently (operating on a budget they already earn at their jobs) and find permanent homes they can afford.

"Because there has been incredible growth in family homelessness in the past several years due to the economic recession, there just simply aren't enough beds available at family homeless shelters to serve the number of local families looking for shelter," Wiley said. "We hope that when we open River of Refuge with the community's help, we can help reduce the burden on the area's family homeless shelters, which we know are already at capacity."

River of Refuge will open its transitional family housing facility in the former Park Lane Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., in February to serve as a regional lodging complex for families. When it opens at 5155 Raytown Rd., the complex will provide a direct alternative to pay-by-the-week motels as well as offer a complete program for transition to self sufficiency including financial counseling and access to significant community resources needed to be successful in finding permanent housing.

About River of Refuge

Wiley founded River of Refuge in 2009 after he witnessed a group of children loading a school bus from the parking lot of an old, run-down motel near his home in Raytown, Mo. River of Refuge was created to specifically address thousands of working families who have become trapped in pay-by-the-week motels throughout Greater Kansas City and into the suburbs. For more information, please visit www.riverofrefuge.com.

About the Rugby Gold Cup

The inaugural Rugby Gold Cup Championship will feature four teams, with normally scheduled CR League fixtures amongst the teams also counting towards the overall Cup standings. The 2015 Midwest CR Champion KC Blues are joined by 2015 USA Rugby Division 1 National Championship Runner-up and Red River CR Champion Austin Blacks Rugby, 2015 Red River CR runner-up Dallas Rugby Football Club (the “Reds”), and 2015 Midwest CR runner-up Metropolis Rugby Football Club from Minneapolis, MN.

Round 1, at Kansas City MO (November 13, 2015):
6:00 p.m. Dallas Rugby vs. Metropolis Rugby
8:00 p.m. Austin Blacks vs. Kansas City Blues

Round 2, at Kansas City MO (November 15, 2015):
11:00 a.m. Metropolis Rugby vs. Austin Blacks
1:00 p.m. Kansas City Blues vs. Dallas Rugby

Rounds 3 & 4 will be hosted by Dallas on the weekend of March 11th – 13th, 2016.

Click Here for the official press release by USA Rugby

Click Here for the Rugby Gold Cup Facebook Page

Kansas City Blues Rugby Club vs Milwaukee Barbarians - Saturday, October 3rd, 2015

Are you an athlete seeking high level competition? Come try rugby!
Contact us at kcbluesinfo@gmail.com or 913-626-1069 for more info.

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