New York Sky Blues Official Supporters Club (OSC) raised $30,000 in a single day to support the work of City in the Community (CITC) and New York Common Pantry (NYCP) through a ticketed livestream event.
The New York Sky Blues’ fundraiser included a musical performance from long-time City supporter Coyle Girelli of the Chevin, as well as an exclusive Q&A session with former striker, Paul Dickov.
A raffle and a silent auction of signed memorabilia also took place to help raise funds.
The work of CITC and NYCP, New York City's largest community-based food pantry focusing on underserved communities throughout the city, has perhaps never been felt more keenly than during those early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the spring of 2020, New York City was one of the epicentres of the virus in the US and, as a result, Spencer Schwartz of New York Sky Blues is delighted to have helped to make a difference to his local community.
“The things that help make New York New York, like our restaurants, bars, theatres, and museums, shut down almost instantly, and practically without warning,” he reflected.
“Countless New Yorkers, many of whom live from paycheque to paycheque, were suddenly without work and lacked the funds to pay for basic needs like rent, food, and electricity.
“Words can’t properly describe how proud I am that we were able to help the New York Common Pantry (NYCP) deliver food to those most in need in such hard times. Their CEO is a massive Blue, too!
“(Paul Dickov is) a perfect ambassador for City and a proper legend. We could not have raised that much without his presence. And to do it on Father’s Day, no less?
“Footballing accomplishments aside, helping to fundraise for the underprivileged in a country five time zones away on Father’s Day should tell you everything you need to know about the man.”
Before the onset of the pandemic, most of New York Sky Blues’ fundraising efforts were concentrated on local youth football initiatives such as the provision of coaching, equipment and kits.
For Spencer, seeing young people in Harlem and the Bronx, where most of their work took place, having the chance to develop a love for the game and, on occasion, Manchester City, was particularly pleasing.
Nonetheless, with restrictions brought into force in an attempt and curb the effects of COVID-19, they had to adapt their work to fit into ‘the new normal’.
One such fundraiser took place over the festive period, where their chapter members teamed up with Garden State Blues, New Jersey’s OSC, to deliver Christmas meals to those in need at NYCP.
Spencer recalls: “In a sign of the times during COVID, the queue was incredibly long, so we were there for nearly a full workday but it was beyond fulfilling.
“To see so many Blues work together to help their community was simply incredible—albeit exhausting!
“We all wore City scarves and hats—I even wore my City Christmas jumper!”
In total, New York Sky Blues have raised over $80,000 in aid of their community and Spencer describes his pride in being part of the Club:
“A supporters’ club is only as good as its members, and I truly believe that our supporters’ club is one of the best in the world—for any club.
“It’s as diverse as the city we call home. We have fans both old and new, from New York to Newton Heath.
"And all are welcome—because of that, I’m lucky to have made lifelong friends I will always cherish, not just in New York, but in Manchester and elsewhere.
“I can honestly say, as a fan since 2003, that I would not be as big a fan if not for the New York Sky Blues.”
To learn more about Cityzens Giving for Recovery in New York visit: https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/cityzens-giving-for-recovery-new-york/