Sounders FC named Brad Evans the team's 2015 Humanitarian of the Year on Tuesday, giving the Seattle captain his first such honor for work in the community and putting him in the running for the MLS Humanitarian of the Year, to be announced November 5.
As an ambassador for the club off the pitch, Evans has championed community efforts both personally and through relationships with corporate partners. For the third straight year, he participated in the Men in Kilts campaign, helping to raise over $83,000 for the Ronald McDonald House in Seattle, providing services for families of seriously ill children being treated at Seattle Children's Hospital.
He also contributed to the 30 in 30 initiative in September, raising awareness about cancer and research for a cure. He welcomed young cancer patient Isiah Waiters as an honorary captain, worked with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centerto promote the Base2Space program and stripped down for the club's Breast Cancer Awareness calendar, benefitting Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Seattle.
He's also helped in the team's United in Green efforts to positively impact local children throughout the season, and he continues to support programs he is personally passionate about, including the Seattle Humane Society. Through his relationship with Chipotle, he has hosted a fundraiser for the Seattle Humane Society to help benefit the organization’s programs throughout the city.
The Sounders also recognized three other nominees for this year's honor.
Cristian Roldan showed maturity beyond his years in his willingness to represent Sounders FC as a positive role model in the community.
- Championed visits to Seattle Children’s Hospital this season – both when requested for community and corporate appearances, as well as on his own. Showed personal interest and care in building relationships through those visits, including continued interaction with a teenage cancer patient at Children’s, on-field after a match and later on at Ronald McDonald House.
- In addition to visits to Seattle Children’s and RMHC, Cristian participated in two Sounders in Schools appearances, inspiring over 850 students at Concord Elementary and Kimball Elementary.
- Cristian volunteered for 14 community appearances in 2015, and also participated in seven corporate appearances.
Lamar Neagle’s local roots and passion to give back have made him a “hometown hero” in the eyes of the local community.
- Inspired an entire city through his participation in Seattle Foundation’s 2015 GiveBIG campaign, the one-day, online charitable giving event. With Lamar as the focal point of this year’s promotional video, GiveBIG raised $16.3 million for local non-profits.
- Organized the 4th annual Sonarfeed FIFA Tournament that has grown to over 80 players and this year raised $10,000 for the Neagle Foundation. Lamar has pledged $5,000 to the Boys & Girls Club of Federal Way, which will be used to purchase new soccer uniforms for over 60 kids.
- A long-time supporter and current board member of America SCORES Seattle – an after school program that combines soccer and poetry – Lamar’s efforts in 2015 were special. The Neagle Foundation was able to make its first grant to support the program.
- In 2015 Lamar volunteered for 12 community appearances and also participated in three corporate appearances.
Micheal Azira leveraged his roots and experiences in Uganda to build positive relationships for Sounders FC and to inspire the Seattle community.
- Spearheaded efforts to support the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center's opening of a Cancer Center in Uganda. Organized and recruited fellow players to visit the Hutch School, where kids displaced for cancer treatment have an opportunity for education. Continued to support Fred Hutch and cancer treatment through appearances and fundraising. Personally donated to the IN for the Hutch event which raised over $586,000 to support research/cutting edge therapies.
- Inspired youth through participation in Sounders in Schools. He spoke of the challenges he faced as a kid and the importance of education to over 400 students at Concord Elementary School.
- In 2015 he volunteered for eight community appearances and also participated in six corporate appearances.