Philadelphia Soul meet, pass with kids at Northern Children’s Services in Wissahickon

By Eric Fitzsimmons – Originally published in The Roxborough Review on April 17, 2016. Click here to view the original article online. 

WISSAHICKON >> Lined up on Connell Field at Northern Children’s Services, the Philadelphia Soul had size, speed, years of training and fancy jerseys on their side, but the ragtag group of neighborhood kids had heart.

After all, April 13 wasn’t a night for competition; the team had come as part of its Soul Town Takeover event series where kids got to meet players from the Arena Football League’s Philadelphia Soul, the Soulmate cheerleaders and the team mascot, the Soulman.

“Being out in the community, obviously it’s important to our organization. It’s important to these guys, for them to take time out of their schedules just to make it here to be with the kids and interact with the families. I think it’s great. It’s an awesome event,” Soul general manager and assistant head coach Phil Bogle said at the event.

Kids got the chance to play pass with the players and outrun them for a touchdown. A touchdown dance with the Soulmates was encouraged, though many were satisfied to dab in the style of Carolina Panthers’ quarterback Cam Newton.

It is an event Northern Children’s Services has hosted a couple times before, and for the organization, it was a way to have fun and meet the neighbors.

“It’s for us to just invite community in but also to promote our programs and let people know what we’re doing here, hopefully spread information about our behavioral health programs or about potentially becoming foster parents or adoption,” NCS President and CEO Renata Cobbs-Fletcher said.

It was also a treat for the residents and after-school participants, according to Cobbs-Fletcher. They got to come out and see the team and cheerleaders as well.

Robyn Colajezzi, vice president of corporate sponsorships for the Philadelphia Soul, said PNC Bank had provided financial support for the event and provided game vouchers for giveaways.

There were treats as well. Philly Pretzel Factory pretzels, Rita’s Italian Ice, Custard and Cakes Creamery ice cream and a sunny but cool afternoon made for a nice evening out.

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Northern Children’s Services supports the healthy development of children, while stabilizing their families to build stronger communities.

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