While the Tampa Bay Rowdies prepare to take on Phoenix Rising FC in the USL Championship FInal this Sunday at Al Lang, the club’s independent supporters group Ralph’s Mob is using the spotlight of the moment to raise money for two great causes.
Ralph’s Mob Charities, the separately financed nonprofit arm of the supporters group, has teamed with beloved Rowdies striker Lucky Mkosana to sell prints of an incredible banner created by Mob member Mike Pendleton. The orginal hand-painted banner debuted a few weeks ago at Al Lang and was inspired by Lucky and other Rowdies players using their platform to show solidarity in the stand against systemic racism.
Excited to announce a project I’ve been working with @Luckynumber17_ and @RMobCharities to bring the Lucky banner to life in a limited-edition, screen-printed serigraph, signed by Lucky himself.📰Read more: https://t.co/EcU90LEM9T🛒PRE-ORDER HERE: https://t.co/ZBLIO9TMJd pic.twitter.com/VEHgt0SkaV
All proceeds from the sale of the prints will go toward BYS Academy, the academy Lucky founded in his nativie Zimbabwe. The goal of BYS Academy is to provide resources to youth soccer players in Zimbabwe who lack pathways to showcase their abilities to international unviersities and professional teams. The academy has several teams in Zimbabwe and plans on adding more in the future. It’s fitting that the Mob is partnering with Lucky this week to aid a cause so close to his heart. Without Lucky’s contributions in the first two rounds of the postseason, the Rowdies wouldn’t even be playing in the championship final this week.
You can read more about BYS Academy in our interview with Lucky from July.
Preorder your print by clicking here, but don’t wait too long and risk missing out. This will be a special, limted edition print. Each print is a 16″ x 20″ serigraph of Pendleton’s original design and is expected to ship in December. Each print will also be signed by Lucky himself and individually numbered. This is bound to become a unique Rowdies collector’s item for years to come.
In a normal year, Ralph’s Mob would have participated in a Pridraiser campaign in June to raise money in support of LGBTQ+ causes, as it has the last several years. Since that was difficult to do while the season was on hold at the start of summer ude to the pandemic, the Mob is carrying the effort over into USL Championship Final week.
While all eyes are on the Rowdies, and us, in the week leading up to the league final on Sunday, we wanted to use this platform to do a fundraiser for our friends at @MetroInclusive! 100% of donations will be given to Metro via @RMobCharities. 🔗 https://t.co/swueu2mCpZ pic.twitter.com/DM06r1EFCi
The Mob is supporting the local LGBTQ+ community by raising funds for Metro Inclusive Health, a nonprofit that has been operating in Tampa Bay since 1993. Metro Inclusive Health has centers all across the region that provide comprehensive HIV services and medical care, free HIV testing, social activities, classes, support groups, counseling, health and fitness programs, youth programs, substance abuse programs, older adult programs, and behavioral health services.
This fundraiser is already underway and will run through November 11. You can donate through Ralph’s Mob Charities by clicking here.