Photo by Scott Houghtaling –

Matty Zemel, Seattle Rainmakers #17, will be heading to the Middle East this summer as a coach for Camp Ultimate Peace. The Rainmakers community is coming together at our May 31st game to help him get there.

Camp UP is a week-long summer camp that aims to build relations between Arab Israelis, Israeli Jews and Palestinians using an unorthodox tool, the sport of ultimate. In non-professional ultimate there are no referees and gameplay is self-officiated by players on the field. This includes everything from keeping track of the inbounds and out of bounds lines, to keeping the game on schedule, to deciding if one player fouled another during a spectacular play.

“You can imagine what rich life lessons and relationships can be created with such a game in the Middle East,” said Zemel. “For me in particular, Camp UP will be an amazing way to integrate myself and learn life lessons from a new culture. This marks my first ever trip to the Middle East and I’m looking forward to joining the very tight-knit UP community.”

Because Ultimate Peace is predominantly a volunteer-led and -driven organization, coaches must raise funds themselves to make it all possible. In the spirit of working together, Zemel is teaming up with two other big names in the Seattle Ultimate scene, John Masler and Daniel Curme, to fundraise. All donations will be split evenly between the three Seattle superstars.

“My goal is to raise $2,500 by June 1st,” said Zemel. “This will enable me to volunteer, cover costs for my participation and help fund the UP organization.”

The UP organization itself extends well beyond this summer camp. They host other events and lectures all over the world to spread awareness about the sport and the benefits and life-lessons that they share worldwide.

The Seattle Rainmakers are partnering with Zemel in his effort to make his presence at Camp UP a reality by offering a discount on tickets to our May 31st home game in return for donations made in his name (online donations must be tagged to Zemel in order to go toward the $2,500 goal) either before or at the game. To make a donation now and help Zemel spread the word of Ultimate, head here. Bring your donation receipt to the Rainmakers game and get a $3 discount on your entry ticket.

Ultimate Peace volunteers will also be onsite on game day to accept donations, and they’ll be selling raffle tickets – one for $2 or five for $5 – for a chance to win some sweet UP gear, signed Rainmakers discs and even a signed Rainmakers replica jersey. All raffle proceeds go to the Camp UP pool. After the game, there will be a Seattle Ultimate Peace fundraising party. Admittance to the fundraiser is free, though donations are welcome.

Best of luck to Matty, John, Daniel and the rest of the Camp UP team. Make it rain out there!

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