PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers have been awarded the MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Month, it was announced today. The club was recognized for its efforts alongside Make-A-Wish® Oregon in granting the wish of local child Atticus for his youth team to play against the Timbers. The Timbers become the first club to be named MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Month, an honor traditionally awarded to individual players.
The Green Machine took the field at JELD-WEN Field on May 1 in a special match against the Timbers. In front of more than 3,000 Timbers faithful – converted for a day to support a special wish made possible by the club, the Timbers Army and Make-A-Wish® Oregon – eight-year-old Atticus Lane-Dupre, diagnosed with kidney cancer, netted four goals, including the game-winner in the waning moments of the match, to power The Green Machine to a 10-9 victory.
WATCH: How Atticus & Green Machine beat the Portland Timbers
Guided to victory by Timbers head coach Caleb Porter, The Green Machine faced a formidable Timbers side that included a Starting IV of Jack Jewsbury, Will Johnson, Darlington Nagbe and Mikael Silvestre, and was coached by Timbers assistant coach Sean McAuley. Additionally, Futty Danso, Jake Gleeson, Ryan Kawulok and Sebastián Rincón saw action for the Timbers in the special match.
“There is nothing we do as a club that is more important than the outreach and partnerships we have in the community,” said Mike Golub, COO of the Timbers. “All of us associated with the Timbers are honored to be able to shine a light on so many great causes and make such a meaningful impact in our community.”
Atticus’ story spread across the country and around the world, including making ESPN’s “SportsCenter,” ABC’s “Good Morning America” and CNN Headline News. Atticus’ game-winning goal was also featured in MLSsoccer.com’s Anatomy of a Goal series.
Prior to the special game, Atticus was outfitted with his own locker next to Timbers captain Will Johnson, while he and his family were given a behind-the-scenes tour of the Timbers locker room and workout facilities. Additionally, Porter introduced Atticus to the team before the Timbers pre-training meeting.
“It really puts things in perspective," Timbers head coach Caleb Porter said after the match. "We’re trying to win games and we have goals here as an organization. There’s nothing more meaningful and valuable than to touch a young kid’s heart and to make his wish come true today. To play a part in that is absolutely incredible. It’s something that brings our community closer, brings our organization closer, and brings our team closer. When we brought Atticus into the video [session] before training today and I introduced him to the team and talked about what he was going to be doing today, it was hard not to get choked up.”
Atticus, his family and friends also enjoyed a unique game-day experience during the Timbers’ home match the following night against the New England Revolution as part of his wish.
When asked why his wish was to play the Timbers, Atticus showed just what a special kid he is.
“Because usually kids just choose to go to Disneyland with their family or getting something and I chose something that lots of people could do,” he said.
On behalf of the Timbers as the MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Month, MLS WORKS will make a financial contribution to Make-A-Wish® Oregon.
The Timbers also recently participated in a special Earth Day service project at Portland’s Hosford Middle School on April 22 as part of MLS WORKS/Continental Tire “How Green Are Your Goals?” contest. In celebration of Earth Day, a number of new green initiatives were installed at the middle school, including a new BEF solar panel, a new Elkay drinking fountain, multiple new bike racks and each student was given a reusable water bottle.
Through the Timbers’ community outreach platform, Stand Together, the club’s community mission is to harness the power of sport to improve the lives of children and families in the region through targeted programs, deep partnerships and philanthropic giving. The Timbers were awarded the 2012 MLS Community Relations Department of the Year for their work in the greater-Portland community. For more on the Timbers community outreach programs and partners, visit www.portlandtimbers.com/stand-together.
To support Make-A-Wish® and grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions in effort to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy, visit www.wish.org.
To support the Children’s Cancer Association’s work in bringing joy to seriously ill children and their families please visit: http://joyrx.org/
To support the American Cancer Society’s work in transforming cancer from deadly to preventable please visit: http://www.cancer.org/