NEW YORK (July 8, 2011) – For her tireless efforts with the Go4theGoal organization, Beth Stefanacci has been named the Philadelphia Union’s Community MVP. After facing the tragic news that her eldest son, Richard, was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer known as Ewing’s Sarcoma, Stefanacci began Go4theGoal in order to help researching a cure for the disease as well as to directly aid those affected by it.
With its roots in New Jersey, Go4theGoal has expanded to more than 20 hospitals throughout the country in cities such as Philadelphia, New York City, Washington D.C., Seattle and San Francisco.
The organization is one of four non-profit groups that make up Union Fans Assist, a program that gives fans a chance to make incremental donations to a charity of their choosing whenever the Union score a goal or shut out the opposing team.
“It's humbling to be nominated as a Community MVP for my work locally as well as nationally for pediatric cancer,” Stefanacci said. “Every day I am touched by a child who is battling the disease and can't help but think ... why?”
In addition to providing gifts and support to children and families affected by Ewing’s Sarcoma, Stefanacci’s organization is preparing to launch a national campaign this September called National Dress 4 Pediatric Cancer Day. To prepare for this, G4G has met with schools, hospitals and businesses throughout the United States to raise awareness about pediatric cancer in order to unite people in the fight against it.
A 501(c)3 non-profit organization, Go4theGoal — through the tremendous efforts of Stefanacci — is working very hard to educate the public of the current lack of funding for pediatric cancer, which kills more children than asthma, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, congenital abnormalities and AIDS, combined.
“It's tough to see the suffering especially knowing firsthand what they are going through,” Stefanacci expressed. “It takes a village to raise a child ... it will take an entire country to help find the cures needed for pediatric cancer!”
MLS W.O.R.K.S., Major League Soccer’s community outreach initiative, and The Home Depot, the official home improvement retailer of MLS, will recognize 18 Community MVPs at the 2011 AT&T MLS All-Star Game at Red Bull Arena on Wednesday, July 27. One Community MVP was chosen to represent each MLS club and will be recognized for their outstanding dedication and commitment to making a difference and improving their local communities.
Winners will receive a $500 gift card provided by The Home Depot and a trip to the 2011 AT&T MLS All-Star Game. Round-trip coach airfare will be provided by American Airlines and hotel stays are courtesy of Four Points by Sheraton. Official MLS merchandise will also be a part of the prize package along with a crystal award from Tiffany & Co.
The MVPs will be recognized at a pre-game reception and during an on-field ceremony during halftime of the 2011 AT&T MLS All-Star Game.
One grand prize winner will receive a $10,000 donation to the charity of their choice.
The grand prize winner will be chosen through an online voting process. In order to vote for their favorite MVP, fans should “like” MLS on Facebook and visit the MLS W.O.R.K.S. tab.
Voting will take place from July 8 at 3:00 p.m. ET to July 22 at 5:00 p.m. ET.
The grand prize winner will be announced with a special check presentation during the halftime recognition ceremony of the 2011 AT&T MLS All-Star Game.
2011 MLS W.O.R.K.S./The Home Depot Community MVPs
Chicago Fire – Robert Kellam
Chivas USA – Eddi Ortiz
Colorado Rapids – Andrea Viarrial
Columbus Crew – Nellie Krumlauf
FC Dallas – Sam Overton
D.C. United – David Stellitano
Houston Dynamo – Nancy Shaddock
LA Galaxy – Matt McDonagh
New England Revolution – Holly John
New York Red Bulls – Robert Uvanović
Philadelphia Union – Beth Stefanacci
Portland Timbers – Jill Dayton
Real Salt Lake – Kevin Bardsley
San Jose Earthquakes – Stuart Berman
Seattle Sounders FC – Lisa Blake
Sporting Kansas City – Nancy Simons
Toronto FC – Jennifer Weber
Vancouver Whitecaps FC – Gavin Hollet
Additional information on the winners can be found here on the MLS W.O.R.K.S. website.