A soccer game played Friday night attracted some of the best collegiate players in the country to Howard High School.
More important, it also attracted almost 2,000 spectators, meaning the first Ulman Classic soccer game -- a fund-raiser for the Ulman Fund, dedicated to educating young adults and older teens who have cancer about their disease -- raised between $20,000 and $25,000.
The game was organized by Doug Ulman, a Centennial High School graduate, now a junior at Brown University, who was diagnosed with cancer during his freshman year in college and is undergoing treatment.
"I am really happy with this turnout," Ulman said. "Fila and Adidas almost single-handedly paid for the event, and we had more sponsors than we knew what to do with.
"We didn't have to pay for anything. Even the food was donated," he said. "For a first year, this is amazing. I couldn't be happier."
The game may have been the main attraction for the spectators, but a silent auction, raffles and door prizes also helped to raise money for the fund.
Ulman said that several Major League Soccer teams and the United States national soccer team donated a number of items, including jerseys and autographed soccer balls for door and raffle prizes.
"We received stuff as late as the morning of the game," he said. "We couldn't use a bunch of it because we already had our auctions and door prizes planned out."
Ulman said the excess items will be used at next year's fund-raiser, which tentatively is planned for Memorial Day weekend.
About half of the players were graduates of Howard County high schools, with the other half coming from across the country -- from as far away as Colorado.
"I heard about it a few weeks ago and wanted to take part," said Jeff Curtis, a Wilde Lake graduate and student at Penn State University, who has been a friend and teammate of Ulman's since age 9.
Ulman received a standing ovation when introduced. The game -- ending in a 2-2 tie, forcing a shootout -- delighted the fans. Ulman's team won.
Referees and coaches -- Dave Greenberg from Centennial and Matt Smith from the Johns Hopkins University -- also volunteered their time for the event.
"I coached Doug when he was younger," Smith said. "I was sorry to see him go to Brown. I would have liked him to play for me."
The Ulman fund has raised almost $90,000 since its inception in March, mostly through fund-raisers and mailings. The fund now has its own Web site: www.ulmanfund.org.
Pub Date: 8/05/97