2011 Community MVP Bios
As an 11-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, Bob Kellam has been awarded the Lifesaving Award for saving a young mother and child from a burning building. He has received 5 Department Commendations and over 75 Honorable Mentions. On a daily basis, he works the streets of Chicago’s 9th District as a Tactical Officer. Bob played soccer growing up and in college at the University of Illinois – Springfield. He also started the Chicago Police soccer team seven years ago, which participates in local and national charity matches raising funds for organizations throughout North America. Using his love of soccer, Bob created K.I.C.K.S. (Keeping Inner City Kids Safe) as a healthy and safe alternative for local at-risk youth. K.I.C.K.S. provides free soccer clinics for inner city children in conjunction with community policing events, providing an opportunity for children to play soccer and interact with local police officers.
Charity of Choice: Chicago Police Memorial Foundation
Raised in one of Los Angeles’ most impoverished and dangerous areas, Eddi Ortiz understands the temptation of gangs, the seduction of drugs and the fear of violence. While growing up, other boys sought a place of belonging on the streets. Eddi was enrolled in a Para Los Niños after school program where he found a passion for sports and a counselor who encouraged physical activity and the importance of staying in school. His experience in this program gave him the vision for his own life: to help turn his neighborhood around and give the children who live there a more promising future. As a Youth and Family Advocate at Para Los Niños, Eddi works with parents who need assistance and middle school children experiencing behavioral problems. Similar to the counselor who meant so much to him when he was young, Eddi also coaches soccer. He organizes soccer clinics and matches for school programs. He finds resources to purchase uniforms and equipment and brings the children to professional soccer games. Through soccer, Eddi has provided opportunity for local children to participate in smart, healthy activities as an alternative to life on the streets.
Charity of Choice: Para Los Niños
Andrea continues to be an advocate for the younger generation and for our young professionals to get involved in the community. She takes a huge stand on education, and feels every youth should have the opportunity and support to at least graduate high school. Andrea is on the Board of Directors for Flobots.org, an organization that works to create positive social change by using music as a tool for therapy, community building, leadership development and action. She also volunteers with Dress for Success and Cops Fighting Cancer. Andrea recently started a new company dot2dotnetwork, where local businesses can give back to the community and the non-profit community can connect with local businesses.
Charity of Choice: Flobots.org
Childhood cancer receives the least amount of funding and is the number one leading cause of death of children. Since Nellie was sixteen years old, it has been her mission to raise awareness and help change both of those statistics. Utilizing her love for fashion, Nellie launched Nellie’s Catwalk for Kids, a charity fashion show led by all teens and young adults that are joining forces to make a difference for families with a child suffering from cancer. Beginning as a single fashion show four years ago, Nellie’s Catwalk for Kids currently has four main events: a dance marathon, a 5K run, a golf outing and the fashion show which has over 3000 attendees. Funds from all the events benefit families and raise awareness for pediatric cancer. In addition to the community events, NC4K has over 15 high school "Nellie's Clubs" which are led by upperclassmen. Nellie's Kids and Teen Club is designed to serve cancer patients in treatment, in remission and the families that have lost their child to cancer. The program provides care packages, one on one time with Nellie and other teens, complimentary family activities to build memories and provide a distraction, and financial support for the families.
Charity of Choice: Nellie's Catwalk for Kids
David Stellitano is an educator with 26 years of experience. He has been involved with his church, the Boy Scouts, religious education, local school theater arts department and the local the PTA. He has been coaching various sports for the last 25 years, but soccer is his true passion. He has earned his E and National D licenses. He has coached or assisted for the past 8 years for CYA Soccer. He started by working a U-6 Camp and then coached U-8, U-10, U-12, and now is a coach for a coed U-14 team. He works with Frederick County Parks and Recreation providing leadership for their summer soccer development programs. For the past 4 years, he has been assisting the president of CYA Soccer in an unofficial “vice presidential” capacity. David’s latest challenge was facing the town commissioners in a matter of safety at our local park. Thanks to his efforts, cars no longer are parking along the park road. Children from the lot would often dart out from between the parked cars right into traffic. David has also spearheaded a movement to fix the local soccer fields, and the commissioners, who for the past twelve years, have been very resistant to fixing the fields, have agreed to work with him to make the plans a reality.
Charity of Choice: CYASC Soccer Club
Sam Overton has been coaching soccer for more than 25 years at various levels, from the local YMCA to the college ranks. When he is not coaching, Sam volunteers at the local YMCA, conducting free coaching clinics and skills demonstrations for local youth, spends time during the holidays at the FOOD BANK and donates funds to the United Way and his local church. Sam has also been very active in Fort Worth Sister Cities volunteering to host students from other countries. He has also taken several groups on oversea soccer trips to places like Japan, Budapest, Hungary and Italy, providing a once in a lifetime experience for the students.
Charity of Choice: American Cancer Society
Nancy Shaddock is very active in supporting Dynamo Charities. She participates in all of the Dynamo Charities events and most of the time goes above and beyond. In connection with the House that Ching Built, a Habitat for Humanity project led by Dynamo forward Brian Ching, Nancy single-handedly made drapes, duvets and pillow covers for the boy’s room, and coordinated the painting of the room in Dynamo orange and blue. Nancy also participated in nearly every day of build week. In addition to her own work, Nancy also rallies volunteers to help man the booth at Dynamo games, and gets volunteers to help with the 5K run and other Dynamo Charities events.
Charity of Choice: Dynamo Charities
Matt McDonagh has been a community mentor for the youth of the Inland Empire since 1976. He has been the coach and president of Celtic Soccer Club since 1979 and has never made a dime in profit. At age 69, he continues to volunteer as a coach and mentor for youth from every ethnic and social economic background. Many coaches, who have played for Matt in the past, have returned to the club to continue his legacy of selfless giving of time, effort and attention to today's young men and women. Matt came to the United States as a teenager on the Queen Mary. He has continued to preach the American dream to anyone willing to listen. Matt has coached children from immigrant Latino families of Pomona, Ontario, Fontana and Compton, and has taught them life lessons through the game of soccer. Matt has served as a coach, a mentor and has become a legend to those whose lives he has touched.
Charity of Choice: AIDS South Africa
Holly John is an amazing and giving person who tries to make a difference in the community by helping those less fortunate. Most recently, she has taken in a young boy from Haiti named Giovanni. Back in Haiti in 2008, Giovanni and a few friends were playing on a roof when they were exposed to an electrical cable. Giovanni, risking his own safety tried to save his friend’s life when he was badly burned and injured, losing a good portion of his skull. Local doctors were not able to do much for him, but fortunately an American doctor who was in Haiti helping victims from the 2010 earthquake, decided to bring him back to the United States where he could get the medical care he needed at Shriner’s Hospital in Boston. It was at that time that Holly had taken Giovanni into her home and has cared for him since; dressing his wounds, comforting him and helping to find a way for his family to come and visit. Holly has become a part of Giovanni’s family and will be there for the duration of his upcoming reconstructive surgeries and recovery.
Charity of Choice: LDS Charities - Haiti Relief Fund
Robert Uvanovic has proven to be a consummate soccer fan and an undying advocate for children. As an AmeriCorps member at the New York branch of the national America SCORES organization, Rob is devoting a year of his life to service. He coaches a boys’ team and a girls’ team in West Harlem, leading them in both soccer and community service activities. Rob interacts with teachers, administrators, kids, and families, and always has a smile on his face. He does whatever it takes to ensure that every single America SCORES child has a positive, affirming experience, from working with them to improve their soccer skills to helping them with homework. As the first one to come and the last one to leave, Rob is the kind of coach and colleague that anyone would be lucky to have. Over the course of the last nine months, Rob has served over 1300 hours and engaged over 125 kids in the America SCORES after-school program. During winter of 2011, he created and piloted the America SCORES New York winter camp initiative that rotated between partner schools to keep kids engaged in soccer during the off-season. In his free time, Rob is always working to become a better coach: he attends clinics, coaches a club team on the weekends, and watches professional games whenever he can. Utilizing the power of soccer as a tool for development, Rob does not just focus on the physical side of the sport: he leads nutrition and health lessons and encourages kids to stay active in their communities. His passion for using the sport of soccer to make the world a better place is evident in everything he does, and his commitment to making a career out of this work will certainly result in the kind of change that we all wish we could make in the world.
Charity of Choice: America SCORES New York
Beth Stefanacci began the organization Go4theGoal when her eldest son, Richard, was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer called Ewing’s Sarcoma. While her family was very fortunate to be located near a prominent children’s oncology center, have the financial resources to give her son the best treatment, and a wealth of support from family and friends, it became clear that many families affected by pediatric cancer were not nearly as fortunate. She immediately set about to make a change and Go4theGoal was created. Although the foundation began in New Jersey, Beth has expanded Go4theGoal to over twenty hospitals across the country including hospitals in Philadelphia, New York City, Washington D.C., Seattle, and San Francisco. Her gifts to them not only include Apple products, gift cards, and wish granting but also the invaluable knowledge that they are not alone and that there is someone to call upon for support, which she is always willing to provide. Her foundation has also been supporting research for a cure for Ewing’s Sarcoma and hopes to expand to supporting research for other medicines targeted at treating and curing pediatric cancers. Recently Beth has taken on the monumental task of creating a national campaign kicking off this September, National Dress 4 Pediatric Cancer Day. Since April 2011, her G4G team has met with schools, hospitals, and businesses across the country not only to raise awareness for kids with cancer, but also to unite in the fight against pediatric cancer! In key markets, there are pilot schools that are starting Go4theGoal Champion teams. In other markets there are schools building a Go4theGoal curriculum into honors classes. Her goal is to change the tragic statistics of the number one killer of children, as well as to educate the public of the lack of funding for pediatric cancer.
Charity of Choice: Go 4 The Goal Foundation
Jill Dayton has volunteered her entire life. After a 10-year career working for Oregon's Department of Human Services - Child Protective Services, Jill left her job to stay at home with her son who had medical issues and following that period, Jill opened her house to foster parenting. Six years later, she has provided a loving home for more than 35 children and is now parenting developmentally disabled teenage girls. Jill’s love for these children and dedication for meeting their needs through unending meetings, medical appointments and her desire to help them enjoy their childhood is remarkable. Jill has always been an active board member of the PTA, which included managing the school carnival, organizing the creation of the yearbook and countless other events. When the School District proposed a bond measure for building new schools, Jill was one of the first people to volunteer to help. Jill is an active member of her church and has volunteered for summer camps, life group activities and jumps at the opportunity to provide meals to families who are in need. Most recently, Jill was inspired to become a puppy raiser for “Guide Dogs for the Blind”. After several months of being involved, Jill was asked to manage the local club, so she is now in-charge of her puppy raiser group. Jill recently saw a “Be the Match” bone marrow advertisement and without a second thought was requesting the information packet, completed it and sent it in. Jill is a role model in her community, in the local schools, and sets a great example to her foster children and her own children.
Charity of Choice: Guide Dogs for the Blind
Kevin Bardsley created the Garrett Bardsley Foundation to conduct wilderness search rescues after he lost his son Garrett during a Boy Scout outing in Utah’s Unita Mountains in August 2004. Garrett was never found. Kevin wanted to prevent this tragedy from ever happening again by training volunteers to be ready at a moment’s notice to conduct wilderness search and rescue expeditions throughout Utah. Kevin assembled a list of resources including horses, pack mules, ATVs, GPS units and experienced search personnel to conduct organized searches, distribute food and water, direct traffic and assist with medical needs to prevent another family from experiencing the tragedy his family experienced when they lost Garrett. He has been in charge of several volunteer searches and was a major factor in helping provide thousands of volunteers who eventually found Brendan Hawkins in 2005. Along with searching for lost individuals, The Garrett Bardsley Foundation has been involved with humanitarian work in South America. They have provided funding and volunteers to help build several schools in the Andes Mountains of Ecuador and Peru. Kevin’s family has gone on these trips to supervise and help build these schools on his own personal expense. He keeps a positive attitude in everything that he does and every trial he goes through and works hard to serve everyone around him no matter what it is, large or small.
Charity of Choice: Garrett Bardsley Foundation
Stu Berman is an amazing community member as well as a fan and strong advocate for promoting soccer. He has organized many fundraisers to support R.O.C.K. (Real Options for City Kids) and America SCORES, both non-profit organizations that help low-income children. He has set up clinics for children and adults to participate and learn how to play soccer. He has also organized house concerts and other fundraising events to support these charities. Stu has also headed up the SFCRSL (the longest running coed soccer league in San Francisco) for many years. His love of the sport and support for MLS is infectious. Stu is a constant cheerleader for the Earthquakes and the League, constantly taking time out to teach the game and getting new people hooked. He is always lobbying friends to join him at a game, offering to pay for anyone's first ticket. He reaches out through postings on his Facebook page and has often recruited 8-10 people at each game solely due to his efforts in promoting the sport.
Charity of Choice: R.O.C.K. (Real Options for Kids)/America SCORES
Lisa Drake has devoted both her personal and professional time to serving the community. After dedicating nearly 10 years to private veterinary practices, she decided to combine her experience in the veterinary field, with her business management skills and growing passion for non-profits in the community by joining the Seattle Humane Society. In her spare time, Lisa has volunteered for the Seattle Works organization and participated in projects to help to provide meals and wrap holiday gifts for the homeless at Compass Housing Alliance; oversaw the refurbishment of play centers at Childhaven, a safe haven for children under five from abusive homes; providing support for individuals living with HIV/AIDS during the holiday time at Rosehedge; and assists with providing donated items to women and children who have escaped abusive situations at Shalom Bayit. Lisa has been a great leader and volunteer for Gorilla FC, a Seattle Sounders FC non-profit supporters group who supports the club as well as the local community. Lisa is always available to help organize or assist a charity event or social service and does a great job helping to publicize them through social media. Lisa has volunteered for United We Serve Projects serving Atlantic Street Center Holiday toy store and the Emergency Feeding Program. Lisa also staffed the Gorilla FC’s Bowling for Japan Tsunami benefit and participated on the Gorilla FC’s Seattle Works Day team benefiting the Wintonia Community Housing Association, volunteered for the America Scores Seattle’s Night to Unite for the Children Benefit Auction and participated in the Gorilla FC Seattle Works project to help refurbish a homeless shelter. Lisa’s commitment to community service and helping others has been significant to the success of Gorilla FC.
Charity of Choice: Seattle Humane Society
Nancy Simons has worked with inner-city kids for over 20 years. In 2003 she was recognized by President Bush and most recently in 2010 Nancy was honored at the WIN for KC Luncheon(Women’s Intersport Network) by Billie Jean King, receiving the Spirit Award. Coaching various sports teams throughout the years, Nancy formed a close bond with many of the neighborhood children, providing guidance and direction and has been known to do whatever is necessary to provide safe alternatives for the local children. Now on the board of directors of the Police Athletic League (PAL) of Kansas City, Nancy’s quest began years ago when she was discouraged by the dangers her eldest son was facing when he played in the street outside of their Northeast Kansas City, MO home. Nancy did all she could and was able to get a basketball court in her backyard. Her son went on to coach inner city children as well. Nancy has been able to provide opportunity for most of the local children and has persuaded local businesses and sponsors to donate anything possible to make the PAL recreation center a better location. Nancy had a strict rule on her teams – no drugs, no alcohol and stay in school – that was obeyed by the children she coached, most of whom came from broken homes. Years later, those very children come back to the neighborhood and thank her for keeping them off the streets, out of trouble and saving their lives.
Charity of Choice: Police Athletic League (PAL) of Kansas City
Jennifer Weber has always been a great role model. She volunteers for several annual events including the weekend to end breast cancer, the weekend to end women's cancers, the United Way stair climb up the CN Tower and Walk Now for Autism Speaks. Jennifer makes the time to volunteer for these various organizations while working full-time and currently completing her Master’s degree. Her most recent passion has become volunteering for the Disabled Sailing Association. She is a sailing companion and assists individuals with disabilities in navigating around the Toronto Harbour. Some of the individuals she sails with are paraplegics and quadriplegics. Without the help of volunteers like Jennifer, these individuals would not have the opportunity to showcase their talents and abilities. She also helps them become actively involved in the community. Jennifer is a firm believer that hard work and determination will lead to success. She inspires those around her, and has increased the community service efforts of other family and friends.
Charity of Choice: Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation
Gavin Hollett has a wide range of passions such as environmental conservation, education, agriculture, public heath, entrepreneurship and more. However, his most notable endeavour relates to peace building, gender equality, and poverty reduction through his non-profit organization, OA Projects. Inspired by Canadian heroes such as Romeo Dallaire, Gavin found a way to combine his passion for soccer with his desire to better the world. As an experienced soccer player and skilled coach, Gavin and his team sought to use sports as a way to promote their objectives. Under his leadership, they successfully implemented projects in Ecuador and Rwanda, and are now concentrating their efforts in a war torn area called Gulu in Uganda. His inclusive, collaborative and transparent style has gained the trust of many individuals and organizations and has lead OA Projects to grow into a robust NGO since 2006. Accomplishments from recent years include the training of roughly 60 youth leaders on topics related to peace building, soccer coaching, community leadership, and gender equality; conducting 5 soccer camps for over 400 children led by the locally trained youth coaches; creating 2 soccer leagues for over 550 war-affected children; construction of 6 soccer fields used by over 7000 youth; equipment distribution to over 70 partner schools, teams and peace clubs. The quantitative measures are impressive for a small charity, but it is the impact these camps have had on the children and women who have participated that makes OA successful.
Charity of Choice: OA Projects