Last updated on April 20th, 2018 at 05:56 pm
Mia Hamm, five-time U.S. Soccer Player of the year, two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and Soccer Hall of Famer, will be the keynote speaker at the 20th annual Power of the Purse, set for 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Thursday, April 26, at the Music City Center. The Power of the Purse luncheon and silent auction benefits The Women’s Fund of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, which supports Middle Tennessee women and girls in need. It is fitting that in a time when Nashville has just been added to the growing list of major league soccer cities, the keynote speaker for this spring’s Power of the Purse® luncheon and silent auction benefiting The Women’s Fund is one of soccer’s all-time greats.
After 17 years, two World Championships, two Olympic Gold Medals, and near-unparalleled success as a marketing icon, Mia retired from professional soccer in 2004 as not only the best women’s soccer player in history but also as one of the most important and recognizable female figures in the history of sport. Hailed by ESPN as the greatest female athlete of the past 40 years, Mia was the youngest woman to ever appear in a match for the U.S. Senior Squad at just 15 years old in 1987. During her illustrious career playing for the national team, she shattered a host of American records, most notably those for international goals (158) and assists (144). A five-time U.S. Soccer Player of the Year, she won Olympic Gold Medals in the 2004 and 1996 Summer Games, adding a Silver Medal in the 2000 Games. In 1991, she was the youngest U.S. woman ever to be part of a World Cup championship team. She was a four-time NCAA champion at the University of North Carolina. She was inducted into the Soccer Hall of Fame in 2007.
Nashville shook the soccer world when Major League Soccer announced in December 2017 that it was awarding the first of its newest expansion franchises as the MLS’ 24th team. In November 2017, Nashville’s Metro Council approved $225 million in revenue bonds to construct a 27,500-seat soccer stadium at the fairgrounds site for the team, led by an ownership group headed by Ingram Industries chairman John Ingram, with an additional $50 million in bonds for renovations and improvements around the site. Meanwhile, Nashville’s new United Soccer League franchise made its debut in February at First Tennessee Park, home of the Nashville Sounds. Nissan Stadium crowds of 47,622 and 56,232 saw matches last summer for a Gold Cup U.S.-Panama match and for the Manchester City vs Tottenham International Champions Cup match, respectively.
In the years since her dominant run on the global stage as a player, Mia has continued to serve as an inspiration to young girls looking to rise to the pinnacle of the sporting world. She has maintained an active presence within the soccer community and has served as an outspoken advocate for Title IX and gender equality across sporting lines, all the while cementing her status as the face of not merely a sport but rather of an entire generation of female athletes through her Mia Hamm Foundation. Mia also is a part-owner of the new Los Angeles Football Club. Mia, 45, is married to former Boston Red Sox baseball star Nomar Garciappara. They have three children.
Based in Durham, NC, the Mia Hamm Foundation is a nonprofit national organization dedicated to raising funds and awareness for families in need of a marrow or cord blood transplant and to the development of more opportunities for young women in sports. Mia founded her Foundation in 1999 following the death of her adopted brother Garrett from complications of aplastic anemia, a rare blood disease.
“I learned so much through him — about perseverance, about grace, about dignity,” she has been quoted.
“The sport of soccer has been so good to me, and I only hope that I have left it in a better place than when I started playing years ago,” Mia is quoted on her Foundation’s website. “I am truly enjoying this stage of life with my family. I am inspired to help causes that are near and dear to me.”
Tickets to the Power of the Purse are $200 and are available at The Womens Fund official website. Begun in 1994 with the vision of improving the lives of women and girls in need throughout Middle Tennessee, The Women’s Fund has surpassed the $1 million mark as it builds an endowment to support nonprofits working to: encourage the achievement of self-sufficiency for women; promote the health and physical well-being of women and girls; and prevent violence against women and girls. The Community Foundation exists to promote and facilitate giving in the 40 counties of Middle Tennessee and beyond. It does this by accepting gifts of any size from anyone at any time and by empowering individuals, families, companies, nonprofits, and communities to respond to needs and opportunities that matter. The Community Foundation works with people who have great hearts, whether or not they have great wealth, to craft solutions that reflect their intentions and goals. For more information, call (615) 321-4939 or visit www.cfmt.org.