A Letter From
Jon Bon Jovi
Dear Members of the SOUL FAMILY,
When we first brought Arena Football to Philadelphia in 2003, our reasons were simple.
We wanted to have fun, we wanted to bring Philadelphia a champion and we wanted to bring professional sports back to a time and place where memories were made.
From day one, before we’d played a down, before we’d sold a ticket, our desire was to change the way in which pro sports was perceived. We wanted to bring a safe, affordable, accessible environment to the playing field, but we also wanted to make as big of an impact off the field.
Whether it was building playgrounds or buying beds, if it was supporting women’s shelters or starting a helpline for kids, the Soul were there. Since 2003, Soul players have appeared at 225 schools, 50 hospitals and 350 events.
Our dance team, the Soulmates, have also made their mark as empowered young women in the community. Each with her name and number across their jersey, the Soulmates are individuals who represent our team and city both on the field and in the stands during games. While off the field since the team’s inception, they have appeared at more than 300 appearances at schools, hospitals and events.
Last year the Soul, along with the members of Bon Jovi and our sponsors (Comcast, SAP, Strober Building Supply, Sprint) built homes for six families in Philadelphia. The impact we wanted to have was beginning to be felt and our name was becoming a part of the sports-minded Philadelphia fan’s mindset.
Last week, with the help of President Bill Clinton, we announced our newest initiative: the formation of The Philadelphia Soul Charitable Foundation and the reconstruction of 15 homes in North Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Soul Charitable Foundation will partner with Saturn on the financing of the environmentally friendly build. Habitat For Humanity will oversee the construction while Project H.O.M.E. (which had secured the locations) will provide the job training and services needed to help the potential new homeowners in helping themselves.
There is one important thing I thought you should know. The money it took for the Soul to finance this build came from the sale of our football jerseys. That’s right. Anyone who bought a signed Soul Jersey during the last Bon Jovi tour… your money went directly to the foundation.
Thanks to all of you, we made a difference. That’s what the Soul is about. And you are a part of it. “Team” is not defined just by the men in uniform on the field – it is also the dance team, the office staff, the sponsors and the fans. Each of you is a part of something special in Philadelphia.
I hope you know that we appreciate the support and hope to continue that winning tradition both off the field and on.
Jon Bon Jovi