On June 6th, 2015, Bellator Real Estate & Development and Truland Homes participated in The Fuse Project’s 2nd Annual Dragon Boat Festival to raise money for local community service initiatives. Since the race, the organization has continued making great strides with its focused community projects. The $150,000 raised at the festival has been planted well and the outcome is more than expected. Fuse has specifically been geared towards two current projects: Soccer4Life and The Afterschool Initiative.
Founded by Zenzo Ndlovu, known to the children as “Coach Z,” the Soccer4Life organization provides fall, winter, spring and summer soccer programs with around 60-70 children in each season. Coach Z is a Zimbabwe native who moved to Mobile when he received a soccer scholarship in 2000 from the University of Mobile. After graduating, he made it a mission to use his soccer skills to instill at-risk inner city children with discipline, faith and respect for self and others
When asked about Soccer4Life, Coach Z said it was a calling: “After graduating from the University of Mobile in 2005, I worked on establishing the program forming the articles of incorporation and 501c3 Tax Exemption. From then on I began to put together series of soccer camp in and around Mobile.” He started with just eight children and now has over 100. “This journey has been humbling to me. I have seen all sorts of children in the worst conditions–mostly underprivileged,” said Coach Z. Fuse became involved after hearing the about the cause and the overwhelming need for help. Many of these children do not have a way to make it to the soccer fields for practice, so a portion of the proceeds from the Dragon Boat Festival went toward the purchase of a van for transportation. Going forward with fundraising, Soccer4Life is currently in need of uniform sponsors for almost 65 children. If you’re interested in supporting this cause, please contact Coach Z via email at email@example.com.
The Fuse Project has also started its own project called the Afterschool Initiative. This cause was designed to help middle school students adjust to the schedule of a normal school day. Fuse’s goal is to reduce discipline infractions, such as suspensions, and provide a way to be successful. In 2014, Scarborough Middle School received the grant to start the program that lasted in September and ended in June 2015. Before the initiative began, most students were failing at least one class. After the program was implemented, the 23 students who had taken part all moved ahead to the next grade and had a noticeable decline in detention and suspensions.
According to Brie Zarzour, Fuse Project’s Co-founder and Treasurer/Secretary of the Board, “We are thrilled at the success of the Afterschool Initiative. Fuse Project invests in specific projects that directly impact children’s lives, and this is a prime example.” This is the second year that the Mobile County Public School System will have this program at a local middle school thanks to the funding from the Dragon Boat Festival. The Afterschool Initiative started at Pillans Middle School this fall.
Bellator agents couldn’t be more thrilled to see this kind of change happening in the community because of an event like the Dragon Boat Festival. They enjoy dedicating their careers to more than just selling real estate on the Gulf Coast, and Bellator and Truland look forward to many more years of support for The Fuse Project and all its community initiatives.
If you’re interested in volunteering or learning more about the Fuse Project, please contact Adrienne Golden.