Sounders' Levesque named May Humanitarian of the Month

SEATTLE — There are few things Roger Levesque loves more than putting smiles on people’s faces. During his career as a Seattle Sounders forward, he’s done that plenty of times with his goals and creative celebrations.

But where he’s perhaps made a more important contribution is making people smile for what he does off the field.

Levesque’s collaboration with Ronald McDonald House on its “Men In Kilts” fundraiser was just one of the recent charitable efforts supported by May’s MLS W.O.R.K.S. Humanitarian of the Month.

Donning a kilt for a photo shoot, Levesque helped the organization raise $35,000 — $10,000 more than its goal. The money will be used to provide 1,400 nights of sponsored housing and services for families of seriously ill or injured children.

“I’ve grown to appreciate that type of connection as I’ve gotten older,” Levesque said about his growing involvement in charity work. “I definitely jumped at the chance to [work with the Ronald McDonald House] and raise some money for a good cause — and also to wear a kilt.”

During the “Men In Kilts” photo shoot, it was easy to see why he agreed to participate. Levesque hammed it up for the camera, coming up with inventive ways to use his prop weapon.

The energy was infectious: Levesque raised nearly $4,000 on his own, fourth best among the 14 Seattle-area celebrities who participated.

The “Men In Kilts” fundraiser, however, was just one of Levesque’s many charitable undertakings. It seems almost every week he’s involved in one thing or another. He has attended a fundraiser in honor of a member from the Sounders’ fan club, Emerald City Supporters, who lost his battle with melanoma, and read Shel Silverstein to children as part of his ongoing work with America SCORES Seattle, among other activities.

“My background is in coaching youth soccer,” said Levesque, whose involvement with the Sounders organization dates back to the club’s USL days when coaching on the side was a significant part of the job description. “I loved that aspect of it.

“That’s the best part for me: the interaction with the people involved. Whether it’s coaching youth soccer, working with the different groups and just sort of seeing how you can work with those people and build relationships — that’s the most important thing.”

Jeremiah Oshan covers the Seattle Sounders for MLSsoccer.com and SB Nation.