COMMUNITY MVP CONTEST

Major League Soccer and Wells Fargo proudly recognize leaders in the community who are using soccer to improve the lives of others.

 

 

2017 WINNER - Keith Palau
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Keith Palau
Keith Palau
Portland Timbers
2017 WINNER
Keith Palau

Portland Timbers

MLS WORKS announced during halftime of the 2017 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target on Wednesday the 2017 MLS WORKS Community MVP, Keith Palau.

Palau, the Portland Timbers community representative, won a $25,000 check from MLS WORKS and Wells Fargo for Embrace Oregon. Founded in 2012, Embrace Oregon connects caring community members with vulnerable children and families in partnership with the Oregon Department of Human Services.

A long-time leader in the charitable actions of the Timbers Army’s 107ist organization, Palau was nominated as the Timbers Community MVP after recently creating Portland Timbers and Portland Thorns FC-themed visitation rooms in the Oregon Department of Human Services offices to provide a welcoming and warm environment for foster children and their families, as part of the Timbers sixth-annual Stand Together Week. In just 48 hours, Palau raised over $8,500 for the project and received a major donation from La-Z-Boy Furniture. Additionally, Palau organized a team of 93 volunteers, who dedicated nearly 800 hours of work toward the cleaning, priming, painting and staging of the visitation rooms at the Oregon Department of Human Services offices in Beaverton, Oregon.

PAST MVPS

Bobby Samra
2013 WINNER
“I will be donating the money from the contest to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, a cause that is personally very important to me and my family. I would like to thank everyone for voting and for all of the incredible support we’ve received these past two weeks”

Bobby Samra

Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Bobby Samra was chosen as Vancouver Whitecaps FC’s Community MVP for his work as an educator and a soccer coach. He is a vice principal in Surrey, BC and has coached soccer for over 25 years. He first started coaching straight out of high school and fell in love with teaching and working with kids. Since then, he has coached soccer at every school he has been at and has even had former students return to help him. Most recently, Samra developed a soccer program with Central City Soccer Club and the Surrey School District for kids with mental health issues.

BILL YOACHIM
2014 WINNER

BILL YOACHIM

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC representative

Bill Yoachim of Nanaimo, British Columbia was selected as Vancouver Whitecaps FC’s Community MVP for co-founding “Hope and Health”, a soccer-based organization that encourages and inspires kids to overcome adversity, in partnership with Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

Bill works with indigenous Canadian children known as First Nations. He saw how many in the community struggled, and he co-created “Hope and Health” to provide support and inspiration for these kids to live healthier, more active lives.

KAREN WRIGHT
2015 WINNER
“A giant thank you to MLS, the Timbers and the supporters of Yamhill Carlton,” said Wright. “YCSC and our supporters, near and far, have no fear of hard work and are passionate about making a difference. Together they truly exemplify the word community and I am proud of what we have accomplished.”

KAREN WRIGHT

Portland Timbers representative

Karen Wright was selected as the Portland Timbers Community MVP for founding the Yamhill Carlton Soccer Club (YCSC) in 2010, and growing the club from 14 local players to over 300 registered YCSC/OYSA club members, and 25 registered coaches. In 2014, over 4,000 hours were logged by more than 100 committed soccer volunteers of all ages for numerous charitable programs and events.

Stephen Schirra
2016 WINNER

Stephen Schirra

New England Revolution

At the age of 23, Stephen Schirra set out on a mission to use sport as a vehicle to create positive change and to make a difference in the world. In an effort to merge his passion for travel and the game of soccer, Stephen decided to bring a ball with him wherever he went. What followed were stunning shots of him freestyling in front of famous landmarks and beautiful locales. He started a blog called Around the Worlds, Around the World, and an Instagram account filled with gorgeous images from his travels. The name and his vision materialized into Around the Worlds, Around the World – a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to teaching soccer to underprivileged children all over the world.