Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University women's soccer team will play at home for the first time this season as the Bulldogs host a pair of non-conference contests this weekend at the FSU Soccer Field.
FSU will host Madonna in its 2013 home opener on Friday, Sept. 13, beginning at 4 p.m. (ET).
Following Friday's contest against the Crusaders, the Bulldogs will then face Northwood in non-league play on Sunday (Sept. 15) and help aid an important cause by holding a charity game to raise money for They Often Cry Outreach (TOCO) starting at 1 p.m. (ET).
As part of the effort associated with the TOCO match, the Bulldogs will be collecting new or gently used soccer equipment, athletic apparel and shoes, which will be distributed by TOCO to needy children in the Caribbean. Donations will be accepted on Sunday in lieu of an admission fee to the contest.
TOCO is a U.S.-based not-for-profit organization co-founded by Taj Weekes and Shirley Menard which is dedicated to improving the lives of underprivileged, at-risk and orphaned children in the Caribbean through sport, enrichment, educational and wellness programs.
TOCO's mission is to raise awareness and address the issues that affect Caribbean youth through comprehensive projects and initiatives on every island in the Caribbean. TOCO's projects range from after school sports programs, a diabetes awareness initiative, a domestic violence awareness campaign, and artistic programs.
"Taj is a good friend of mine who is a Grammy-nominated reggae artist, humanitarian and national hero from St. Lucia who is working incredibly hard, and has the power, to improve the lives of these people, focusing on the children," said FSU head coach Andy McCaslin. "In the past there have been drives to take diabetes testers and strips to the island, school supplies, bikes and more. But at the core of it all and the start of our partnership years ago was the shared love of soccer, which will make this a great event."
FSU will be accepting used soccer equipment as well as donations to send on TOCO's next trip to the island. Equipment can include anything from soccer socks and balls to sets of uniforms.
"It's a tremendous charity and I'm so pleased to have TOCO on board with the Ferris State women's soccer program," said McCaslin.
For those unable to attend, but who would like to make donations, please contact McCaslin via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The two contests this week mark the only home matches for the Bulldogs during the month of September.
More information on the TOCO organization can be found at this link: