DC United Helps Out Market Merchants

Posted May 22, 2007 at 4:45pm

With more than $230,000 already in the bank, the Capitol Hill Community Foundation continues to raise funds for the South Hall merchants of Eastern Market. The latest fundraiser comes from DC United, which will donate $3 from every ticket sold for Saturday’s game against the Houston Dynamo to the foundation.

The soccer team has planned fundraisers before but rarely allocates so much to one organization, said Doug Hicks, vice president of communications for DC United.

“We very rarely do something like this that’s so big and for so much money,” he said, adding that the April 30 fire at the market hit close to home. “It’s our neighborhood and the people we’re looking to support are the vendors and the families — the people who make their living there.”

Tickets cost from $35 to $45 and can be bought through dcunited.com.

“This is a really wonderful big thing they’re doing here,” said Nicky Cymrot, the foundation’s president. The organization is focusing on helping out the merchants and employees who worked in the market’s South Hall and sold vegetables, meats and cheeses. The CHCF has used the donations to buy equipment such as refrigerated trucks, chairs, tables, scales and coolers that allow the merchants to function outside. With this help, some are expected to return to business by this weekend and stay open six days a week, Cymrot said.

— Emily Yehle