The Lower Columbia Youth Soccer Association took the top prize and $28,000 at this year’s Magnanimous Mug Awards, a fundraiser by Fort George Brewery for local nonprofits.
The brewery chose eight nonprofits and a representative who gathered donations throughout November. This year’s contest included the soccer association, Astoria Warming Center, Riverfolk, United Way of Clatsop County, Association of American University Women, North Coast Food Web, Libraries Reading Outreach in Clatsop County and Astoria Band Boosters.
The soccer association, in existence for more than 30 years, maintains the Warrenton Soccer Complex on Ridge Road near Fort Stevens State Park and runs recreational and traveling youth teams. Monica Steele, the group’s vice president, gathered nearly $18,000 in donations. Fort George matched $10,000 and bestowed Steele with the Magnanimous Mug, good for a membership in its mug club.
“We have over 500 kids who participate each fall,” Steele said of the soccer association. “We sent an email out to their families, then used social media.”
The association’s fundraising campaign was also helped by out-of-town benefactors who were previously involved with the group, she said.
“We maintain those fields on a year-round basis, and we are in dire need of a new lawnmower, a professional grade lawnmower,” Steele said. “We will now be able to purchase one.”
Jennifer Holen raised just under $13,000 for United Way, with another $5,000 matched by Fort George. Annie Martin of the Astoria Warming Center came in third, receiving a $1,000 match. The Magnanimous Mug Awards raised more than $77,000 overall, bringing the total raised since 2015 to $342,000. The awards are part of benefit nights Fort George holds the last Tuesday of each month in its upstairs pub on Duane Street.