WASHINGTON, D.C. February 13, 2013 — The Craig Willinger loved soccer with a passion, just as he loved life. When Craig was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia in 2007 and given six years to live he decided he wanted to help others.
After returning from soccer trip to Germany, gifted to him by a local group of Liverpool Football Club supporters, Craig was inspired to found the Craig Willinger Fund (CW Fund). Craig felt his trip was more therapeutic than any cancer treatment and that type of experience should be provided to other soccer fans fighting cancer. He wanted to improve the lives of children and young adults stricken with cancer by providing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience world-class soccer.
Since 2010, the CW Fund has honored young cancer survivors with trips to see games at the World Cup in South Africa; FC Barcelona at Camp Nou in Barcelona, Spain and AC Milan at San Siro in Milan, Italy. Last year, the fund sent 10-year-old Christopher Link of Bel Air and his father to see Chelsea play Paris Saint-Germain at Yankee Stadium in New York.
The Craig Willinger Fund will mark the one-year anniversary of Craig’s death on February 15, at Slainte Irish Pub and Restaurant in Fells Point, Baltimore. Slainte’s will will commemorate Craig’s passing by hanging a Bayern Munich jersey, Craig’s favorite team, in his name. Craig, a Baltimore native, was 42 years old when he died.
The event at Slainte’s starts at 7 p.m. and is open to all. There will be a complementary food buffet from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and will feature drink specials all night. Slainte is located at 1700 Thames Street in Historic Fells Point.
John Haydon wrote a weekly soccer column for The Washington Times. He has covered two World Cups and written about Major League Soccer from the league’s inception in 1996.
Follow John on Twitter at @Johnahaydon or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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