One Night One Goal guests pose for the Audi Field jumbotron. Photo: Rafael Suanes.
On October 6, 2022, DC SCORES hosted its fifth annual One Night One Goal gala and raised the highest-ever fundraising total for a single DC SCORES event. One Night One Goal has been held at Audi Field since it launched in 2018 and this year raised almost $450,000 for DC poet-athletes.
A combination of corporate sponsorships, auction bids, and ticket sales contributed to the record-breaking total, which will support the organization’s award-winning soccer, poetry, and service-learning program.
“We are so grateful for the generosity of One Night One Goal supporters,” said Katrina Owens, Executive Director of DC SCORES. “This incredible amount will help us to reach more poet-athletes in the District and provide them with opportunities to grow strong, build their confidence, and raise their voices for good.”
Guests walk the red carpet outside the EagleBank Club of Audi Field. Photo: Cody Cervenka.
Bringing Poetry to DC’s Premier Soccer Venue
One Night One Goal featured performances from top spoken word artists, fieldside and jumbotron photo opportunities, live and silent auctions, and guest appearances from D.C. United and Washington Spirit professional soccer players.
Guests arriving at the gala had the opportunity to walk the red carpet and snap a professional portrait on Audi Field’s turf before making their way to the One Night One Goal Poetry Lounge via a hallway featuring a soundscape and printed displays showcasing original poems by DC SCORES poet-athletes.
The Poetry Lounge — curated by Busboys and Poets, an iconic DC-based chain of restaurants and bookstores — hosted a series of moving performances from spoken word artists Rebecca Dupas, Orville the Poet, and Lady Brion, as well as musical groups BOOMscat and Emory Diggs and Friends.
Spoken word artist Lady Brion performs in the Busboys and Poets Poetry Lounge. Photo: Cody Cervenka.
Guests in the standing-room-only lounge were also treated to surprise performances from D.C. United center-back Donovan Pines and Washington Spirit defender Gaby Vincent. Pines shared a series of poems and lyrics that inspired him growing up, while Vincent performed an original poem, composed for One Night One Goal, that explored the themes of body image and self-confidence.
The player’s performances, which brought together the soccer and poetry components of the DC SCORES model, were a big hit with the audience. “I’ve always appreciated the spoken word and poetry aspect of the DC SCORES program and I’m continually inspired by how young people are using their voices and platforms to speak about topics and issues that matter most to them,” said Shanell Mosley, Director of Community Relations at D.C. United.
“Naturally, the highlight of One Night One Goal was seeing and hearing from the many poets in the Busboys poetry lounge, including D.C. United’s very own Donovan Pines,” Mosley added. “Several snaps, for sure!”
D.C. United defender Donovan Pines reads a poem for the One Night One Goal audience. Photo: Cody Cervenka.
DC Soccer Icons Support Poet-Athletes
Pines and Vincent were not the only soccer stars who made appearances at the event. Former D.C. United and U.S. Men’s National Team player Ben Olsen emceed the live auction alongside DC SCORES Board Member and entrepreneur Devin Talbott. They were joined onstage by D.C. United captain and One Night One Goal organizing committee member Steve Birnbaum, who personally introduced bidding for a golfing session with him at Woodmount Country Club.
NWSL players also came out in support of One Night One Goal. Though Washington Spirit forward Ashley Hatch, who served on the organizing committee alongside Birnbaum, was unable to attend the gala due to a call-up for the US Women’s National Team, her teammates Anna Heilferty, Averie Collins, and Vincent mingled with guests throughout the event and Hatch’s auction item, an afternoon penalty kick clinic, raised $3,600.
Washington Spirit player Gaby Vincent (center) celebrates with her teammates Averie Collins (left) and Anna Heilferty (right) after her Poetry Lounge performance. Photo: Cody Cervenka.
One Night One Goal star power even extended to supporters who could not make the Thursday event. Bidders from across the United States participated in a silent auction that included items such as a team-signed Washington Spirit jersey, unique artwork by Ben Olsen, and a personalized video from the hosts of soccer podcast Men In Blazers.
“This was all possible because of the strength of the DC SCORES community,” said Owens. “From our generous corporate sponsors and our community partners to the volunteers who helped us with event logistics on the night, so many people helped us raise this record-breaking amount for poet-athletes.”
“I’m very proud of what we achieved,” she continued, “but I can’t wait to set a new record next year!”
D.C. United stars Christian Benteke and Chris Odoi-Atsem (center left and right) mingle with One Night One Goal guests. Photo: Rafael Suanes.