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Men's Soccer Holding Charity Game Friday for TOCO
Taj Weekes with Crusader men's soccer players during Alumni Weekend this past spring.
Taj Weekes with Crusader men's soccer players during Alumni Weekend this past spring.
Taj sporting some Valpo soccer gear.
Taj sporting some Valpo soccer gear.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

For the second straight season, the Valparaiso men’s soccer program is holding a charity game to raise money for They Often Cry Outreach (TOCO), as the Crusaders are waiving the standard admission charge for Friday’s game against Milwaukee at Brown Field and instead accepting monetary donations for TOCO.  TOCO’s founder, St. Lucian reggae artist Taj Weekes, will be in attendance at the game Friday night and will also be participating in a number of events on campus during the day.

Both cash and check donations will be accepted at the gate on Friday night for TOCO, with the Crusader men’s soccer program matching dollar-for-dollar the money raised by the general public.  The Crusaders will also be collecting new or gently used soccer equipment, athletic apparel and shoes, which will be distributed by TOCO to needy children in the Caribbean.

TOCO is a U.S.-based not-for-profit organization founded by Weekes which is dedicated to improving the lives of underprivileged, at-risk and orphaned children in the Caribbean through sport, enrichment, educational and wellness programs.  Valpo became involved with TOCO early in the 2008 season when it donated some used soccer equipment, and the partnership has blossomed over the last two years.  The Crusaders were able to raise nearly $4,000 for TOCO last year at their charity game against Michigan.

Friday night’s game will count as a CORE approved fifth-hour event for Valpo students in the first-year course.  Weekes will be holding a discussion/Q&A with CORE students and faculty from 1-2:30 p.m. on Friday in the Union’s Campus Café, and will also be meeting with Music Enterprise Student Association (MESA) from 11-11:50 a.m. in the VUCA.  He will also be at the game, available for pictures, autographs and to talk about his charity and music, including his upcoming new album, “A Waterlogged Soul Kitchen.”