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#ThankYouCam: Community Means More than Home

By Grace Ogata-Beutler, 10/28/21, 1:30PM PDT

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Throughout his six-season SRFC career, the Sacramento-native remained committed to helping the community he grew up in

While Cam Iwasa has undoubtedly earned a spot in Republic FC and USL Championship history, he has also become a champion in the Sacramento community.

“Cam isn’t just from Sacramento, he personifies what is best about our City,” said Scott Moak, Republic FC Vice President of Community Investment. “He stays connected to his roots and never forgets his past. He gives back to help make this City a better place to live in and call home. And he always gets up…even when the odds are stacked against him and obstacles seemingly impede his path, he breaks them down and pushes forward. I am going to miss him and will be forever thankful for what he gave to this Club.”

Ahead of Cam's final game in professional soccer this Saturday, we take a look back at some his most memorable community projects.

 

 

UC Davis Children's Hospital

Ever since his first season with Republic FC in 2015, Iwasa has become a familiar face at UC Davis Children’s Hospital, visiting with children going through treatment. When Cam’s Community Collectibles shirt launched earlier this season, he selected to have proceeds benefit UC Davis Health Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy Departments, saying “the UC Davis Health visits have always been my favorite community activations—connecting with the kids who are so happy despite their health challenges, it always brings a smile to my face.” 


Folsom State Prison

Cam also joined the monthly matches at Folsom State Prison, coaching inmates and front office staff—a very different and eye-opening experience for the son of a law enforcement officer. Through visits to Folsom, Cam got to see first-hand how the game of soccer can connect people in vastly different situations: “There was a guy who was in here playing with us, and when he got released, the first thing he did was come to a Sac Republic game. He said that it meant so much that we treated him like a human and showed him compassion, which is why we step outside of our comfort zone for these monthly matches.”


Sac Valley Flames / Power Chair Soccer

Iwasa was first introduced to the Sac Valley Flames and Power Chair Soccer in 2020, when the Indomitable Club worked with Make-a-Wish to present 19-year-old Michael with a brand-new power soccer wheelchair. Michael, who has muscular dystrophy, plays for local club Sac Valley Flames. Since their introduction, has become intertwined with the team, inviting them out to matches and even hopping in the chair for a training session.


 

St. Baldrick's Foundation

For two seasons, Iwasa “braved the shave” with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, raising hundreds of dollars for childhood cancer research.

“The kids battling cancer are warriors and are going through something that is so much harder than anything I go through as an athlete, so shaving my head was a small sacrifice I was willing to make.”

One thing that Cam wasn’t prepared for his first year with St. Baldrick’s? Getting a sunburn on the top of his head. But by the time the next year came around, Iwasa was armed with plenty of sunscreen.


Republic FC will celebrate Cam’s accomplished career and commitment to Sacramento throughout the week, leading up to the final home game of the 2021 season – Fan Appreciation Night – on Saturday, October 30. Using the hashtag #ThankYouCam on the team’s social channels, fans can submit their favorite stories, memories, photos, and videos of Cam. On Saturday, every fan in attendance will receive a commemorative cheer card. Throughout the pre-game, fans will have the opportunity to win Iwasa and Republic FC prizes, leading up to a ceremony prior to kickoff.

The Indomitable Club will close out the season against San Diego Loyal SC at Heart Health Park, with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m. Tickets for Fan Appreciation Night are available at SacRepublicFC.com/single-match-tickets. The match will be broadcast locally on KQCA My58 and Estrella TV Sacramento, as well as streaming on ESPN+.