Chicago's Brian McBride announced Friday that he'll retire after this season, ending a 17-year pro career.
Chicago Fire Media Relations

McBride, Fire seek votes for children's festival

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – On the field, the Chicago Fire are busy fighting for the playoffs. Off of it, they’re busy fighting for Chicago students.

Like all other MLS clubs, the Fire are participating in the Pepsi Refresh project. Their idea is to hold a Health, Wellness and Education festival for Chicago Public School students.

Should the Fire’s idea receive the most votes, the team will be granted $50,000 to run the festival, which will provide 10,000 Chicago students with school supply kits and health screenings.

The festival, billed as being designed to motivate kids to stay in school by providing them with the tools they need to be healthy, happy and productive, would also feature a Q&A session with Fire players.

“Kids are the most important thing,” Fire forward Brian McBride said. “Hopefully we can help these kids in need become better students.”

VOTE for McBride's Pepsi Refresh idea

McBride was particularly excited about the free health screenings the project will offer.

“Obviously there are certain issues with some people without healthcare with costs,” he said. “This would then allow them to get the necessary immunizations or checkups that they need to get.”

Voting for the project ends on Monday, Sept. 20 at midnight ET. The club is urging all of their fans to vote the Chicago way – that is, early and often – so that their idea can receive funding.

Fans can vote up to 25 times per day.

“I would implore everybody to get involved and vote as many times as possible,” Fire defender Dasan Robinson said. “It’s definitely what we as an organization need to do and as individuals to help out any way we can with this community.”

Sam Stejskal covers the Chicago Fire for Email him at and follow him on Twitter @samstejskal.