COMSTOCK PARK, MI – Grand Rapids Football Club (GRFC) will return to Fifth Third Ballpark on Saturday, October 14 to take on the La Raza All-Stars in an exhibition game. The game will start at 7 p.m. and the gates open at 6 p.m.
However, this is much more than an exhibition game between these two soccer teams. A portion of the proceeds from the game will benefit one of West Michigan’s most beloved soccer figures, Roger Garner. Roger was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in February and has been fighting the disease since. Multiple Myeloma is a form of cancer formed by malignant plasma cells.
Rog, or affectionately known as “the godfather,” has coached and organized soccer teams and leagues in West Michigan since the mid ‘90s. He coached at the youth level for several clubs, in high school at East Kentwood, and the college ranks at Aquinas. While going through chemotherapy this summer, he also served as the Director of Game Day Operations for the GRFC Women’s team.
“We have been looking for a way to help Roger and his wife Nancy since he was diagnosed and this is the perfect way” said GRFC President Matt Roberts. “The ‘godfather’ has touched so many lives in the West Michigan soccer community and we couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate him than with a night dedicated to helping and saying thanks. It will be a special evening of soccer to honor one of the best people we all know. Roger has been an inspiration to many and this is just one small way to say thanks for the years of dedication to the sport we all love so much.”
This will be GRFC’s third game at Fifth Third Ballpark. Last year they defeated Toronto-based Aurora FC 11-1 and earlier this season Detroit City FC got the best of the Boys in Blue 2-0.
GRFC recently completed their second season in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) finishing third with a record of 6-2-5. Their opponents will be an all-star team made up players from West Michigan’s largest Hispanic league, La Liga Hispana de Futbol La Raza. Tickets are $10.00 each and can be purchased at the Fifth Third Ballpark Box Office, by calling 616.784-4131 or online at fifththirdballpark.com.