MLS W.O.R.K.S. gives back to the NY/NJ community as part of the 2011 AT&T MLS All-Star Celebration

MLS PLAYERS AND EXECUTIVES WILL PARTICIPATE IN COMMUNITY EVENTS TO HELP MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF LOCAL AREA YOUTH

NEW YORK – MLS W.O.R.K.S., Major League Soccer’s community outreach initiative, will be conducting various events in the New York/New Jersey area, leading up to the 2011 AT&T MLS All-Star Game, that highlight the League’s commitment to give back to the communities that support the League, our clubs and players.  The 2011 AT&T MLS All-Star Game, featuring the MLS All-Stars against Manchester United, will be played on Wednesday, July 27 at 8:30 p.m./5:30 p.m. PT ET at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.  

Major League Soccer (MLS) All-Stars, MLS Commissioner Don Garber and other League executives will join forces with The Home Depot associates, New York City Parks & Recreation, members of the Highbridge Pool and Recreation Center and designers from Parsons The New School for Design to raise the Splash House Pavilion on Tuesday, July 26, as part of the festivities leading up to the 2011 AT&T MLS All-Star Game.  Providing an outdoor changing, locker and shower area for more than 100,000 community members that use the facility, the project will also allow sports and fitness programming to continue year-round for approximately 20,000 children in the Washington Heights neighborhood.  Volunteers will spend the day painting, cleaning and constructing the pavilion while academy coaches from the New York Red Bulls and the Claudio Reyna Foundation conduct a clinic for approximately 100 local children.

Major League Soccer is committed to increasing the accessibility of soccer, creating sustainable projects that leave a lasting legacy and supporting local youth programs that will encourage children to live a healthy active lifestyle.  The refurbishment is part of The Home Depot’s ongoing commitment to give back to the communities it serves and the League’s community service program, Unite. Volunteer. Serve., a collaborative effort to combine sport and service, promote good will and improve lives and communities at the grassroots level.   MLS All-Star players will participate in the refurbishment, sign autographs for children and volunteers and be a part of the ribbon-cutting ceremony with Commissioner Garber.

On Wednesday, July 27, MLS W.O.R.K.S. and the New York Red Bulls will team up with Starlight Children’s Foundation for a hospital visit and placement of a Starlight Fun Center™ mobile entertainment unit at the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, NJ.  The visit is part of the MLS W.O.R.K.S. Soccer Kicks Cancer program and will provide an opportunity for seriously ill children and their families to enjoy a unique experience and a renewed sense of strength and hope.  Red Bulls players will be on hand to play Fun Center games with young patients and participate in other activities prior to the unit’s dedication ceremony. In addition to the Fun Center, MLS will also provide tickets to the 2011 AT&T MLS All-Star Game for outpatients and their families on behalf of the New York Red Bulls and MLS. 

MLS corporate partner Continental Tire has joined forces with Major League Soccer to help raise awareness for environmental issues through the MLS W.O.R.K.S. Greener Goals program during the 2011 season.  Launching their campaign in April during Greener Goals week, Continental Tire began activation in select MLS markets and has been encouraging fans to be responsible and environmentally friendly.  In partnership with the Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF), MLS W.O.R.K.S. and Continental Tire has taken strides to make the 2011 AT&T MLS All-Star Game at Red Bull Arena environmentally sustainable.  Renewable Energy Certificates—from 100% wind resources—purchased from BEF ensure that only green energy will be used in association with this event.  The carbon dioxide equivalent reduction value is the equivalent of more than 180,999 pounds and will support enough wind energy to power an average U.S. home for over 9 years.  10,000 Eco-tip Wallet guides, developed by the Natural Resources Defense Council will be distributed at the All-Star Game as a tool to better educate fans and to further the ongoing movement toward a more sustainable future.  10,000 MLS W.O.R.K.S./Continental Tire reusable bags will also be distributed to fans at the match and during Continental Tire’s on-site activation.

MLS W.O.R.K.S. and The Home Depot will also be recognizing 18 Community MVPs during halftime at the 2011 AT&T MLS All-Star Game. Community MVPs, representing each of the League’s 18 clubs, were chosen based on their efforts to make a difference in their local communities.   Fans have had the opportunity to vote for one (1) grand prize winner who will receive a $10,000 donation to their charity of choice. Voting ends on July 22.  Make sure to “like” MLS on Facebook (www.facebook.com/MLS) and visit the MLS W.O.R.K.S. tab.  All 18 winners will be recognized and the grand prize winner will be announced during halftime of the 2011 AT&T MLS All-Star Game at Red Bull Arena. 

2011 MLS W.O.R.K.S./The Home Depot Community MVPs:

Chicago Fire: Robert Kellam

Chivas USA: Eddi Ortiz

Colorado Rapids: Andrea Viarrial

Columbus Crew: Nellie Krumlauf

D.C. United: David Stellitano

FC Dallas:  Sam Overton

Houston Dynamo: Nancy Shaddock

LA Galaxy: Matt McDonagh

New England Revolution: Holly John

New York Red Bulls: Robert Uvanović

Philadelphia Union: Beth Stefanacci

Portland Timbers: Jill Dayton

Real Salt Lake: Kevin Bardsley

San Jose Earthquakes: Stuart Berman

Seattle Sounders FC: Lisa Drake

Toronto FC: Jennifer Weber

Vancouver Whitecaps FC: Gavin Hollett

About Major League Soccer

Headquartered in New York City, Major League Soccer is the top-flight professional soccer league in the United States and Canada. MLS features many stars from the U.S., Canada, and around the world. Major League Soccer’s 16th season will feature 18 clubs each playing 34 regular season matches. Those clubs include Chicago Fire; Chivas USA; 2010 MLS Cup champion Colorado Rapids; Columbus Crew; D.C. United; FC Dallas; Houston Dynamo; LA Galaxy; New York Red Bulls; New England Revolution; Philadelphia Union; Real Salt Lake; San Jose Earthquakes; Seattle Sounders FC; Sporting Kansas City; Toronto FC; and, in their inaugural seasons, Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps FC. An expansion team in Montreal will debut in 2012. For more information about MLS, log on to the League’s official website at www.MLSsoccer.com.

About MLS W.O.R.K.S.

MLS W.O.R.K.S. is Major League Soccer's community outreach initiative dedicated to addressing important social issues affecting young people and serves as a platform for both League and club philanthropic programs.  MLS W.O.R.K.S. seeks to establish Major League Soccer as a leader for improving the lives of people through sport. For more information visit the website at www.MLSsoccer.com/works.