PORTLAND, Ore. – In recognition of his exemplary efforts in making a difference off the playing field this season, Portland Timbers midfielder Kiki Lara was named the Timbers’ Community Player of the Year for the 2007 season.
In 2007, Lara most exemplified the goals of the Timbers Community Outreach Program by making a positive impact on community values by lending his time and energy to a number of causes and philanthropic activities throughout the season.
“Community outreach is at the core of our mission with the Portland Timbers, and nobody has embodied that ideal more than Kiki Lara,” said Merritt Paulson, president of the Timbers. “We congratulate and thank Kiki for his civic-minded efforts.”
In 2007, Lara took part in the Timbers camps and team clinics program, participated in a John Wetten Elementary School’s “Everybody Reads” program, helped donated 20 new soccer balls to the physical education program at Boise-Elliot Elementary School in Portland, led an appearance at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital to visit families and present donated teddy bears, presented the Muscular Dystrophy Association with money raised through the Jersey-Off-Our-Back fundraiser and coached youth teams for a Portland-area soccer club among other activities.
In his first season with the Timbers, Lara played in 19 matches logging nearly 1,000 minutes. Beginning his professional career with the Minnesota Thunder in 2004, Lara was recognized at the Thunder’s Humanitarian of the Year in 2006.
Before Sunday’s first-round playoff match at PGE Park, Lara was presented with a commemorative painting produced by local artist Ken Rumbaugh in recognition of his efforts.
Previous recipients of the Timbers Community Player of the Year award include midfielder Tom Poltl (2006) and midfielder Brian Winters (2005).