PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers and Portland Thorns FC announced their Community MVP awards for the 2016 season at the annual Stand Together Banquet on Sunday evening at The Nines Hotel in downtown Portland. These awards were given to the individuals who made a significant impact in the community, committing their time and efforts through the clubs’ community platform, Stand Together.
Proceeds from the Stand Together Banquet will continue to help drive the Timbers’ and Thorns’ charitable initiatives that showcase their diverse community through the support of elementary education, youth activity and wellness, and environmental awareness.
Timbers Community MVP – Zarek Valentin
Defender Zarek Valentin was an integral part of the Timbers’ efforts in the community during the 2016 season and was named Timbers Community MVP. Taking an active role in the community through the club’s Stand Together platform, Valentin hosted bilingual reading assemblies at local schools, visited the Hillsboro Library during Stand Together Week to encourage youth to continue reading, inspired Special Olympics athletes at the Unified Sports exchange program, joined soccer camp participants to talk about the importance of leading healthy, active lifestyles, and hosted a young boy battling cancer at the adidas Timbers Training Facility for a special day with the players and coaching staff.
Thorns FC Community MVP – Michelle Betos
Goalkeeper Michelle Betos was instrumental in Thorns FC community events during the 2016 season through the club’s Stand Together platform and was recognized as Thorns FC Community MVP. Since joining the team in 2013, Betos has taken an active role in giving back to local youth. During Stand Together Week, she joined in a recess session with Playworks to teach students about teamwork and staying active and cleaned books at the Children’s Book Bank to help foster an appreciation of reading in local students. She helped host the annual Girls Strong Clinic at Providence Park, inspiring over 100 young women to build confidence, feel empowered, and help shape our future community leaders.