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‘Rise and Shine: The Jay DeMerit Story’ to Show at Lobero Theatre

All proceeds from the Feb. 9 screening will benefit Santa Barbara Soccer Club

A moving and inspirational story that just happens to be about sports, Rise and Shine: The Jay DeMerit Story, winner of the Rising Star Award at the Canada International Film Festival, will premiere in Santa Barbara at 7 p.m.  Feb. 9 at the Lobero Theatre.

Tickets can be purchased from the Lobero box office by calling 805.963.0761. All proceeds will support the Santa Barbara Soccer Club.

Rise and Shine traces Jay DeMerit’s heart‐tugging journey from failed tryouts with Major League Soccer through early frustrations in English football’s lowest divisions to captaining England’s Watford FC and joining Team USA at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Told through interviews with DeMerit’s coaches, fellow players, family and friends, Rise and Shine features game footage from around the world and includes cameos by soccer greats Wayne Rooney, Didier Drogba and Landon Donovan.

DeMerit — who scored the “£40 million goal” that helped promote Watford into the lucrative Premier League — hopes to encourage aspiring athletes and others. Click here to watch the movie trailer.

The Santa Barbara Soccer Club has arranged for the Santa Barbara premiere of the 92-minute film as a fundraiser for its programs dedicated to the development, both on and off the field, of the community’s youth soccer players. The event is sponsored by Santa Barbara Extremities MRI.

“Providing a top-­notch, year-around training environment for over 500 young players, 30 percent receiving some form of scholarship or financial assistance, requires hundreds of volunteers and a lot of fundraising,” said Billy Gallagher, executive director of the Santa Barbara Soccer Club. “This film is a great chance to raise needed funds by bringing our community together for a truly inspirational story of perseverance and determination that serves as a positive example for all of us.”

After the screening, a question-and-answer session will be hosted by Billy Gallagher and UCSB men’s soccer head coach Tim Vom Steeg, featuring film director and producer Nick Lewis along with several UCSB Gauchos certain to figure prominently in this year’s MLS draft.

The Rise and Shine Santa Barbara premiere is expected to sell out; tickets can be purchased from the Lobero box office. Click here for more information, or call 805.963.0761. All proceeds will benefit the Santa Barbara Soccer Club.

— Karen Yonally represents the Santa Barbara Soccer Club

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