NEW YORK (July 13, 2017) – Major League Soccer today announced the finalists for the 2017 MLS WORKS Community MVP Contest presented by Wells Fargo. The Grand Prize winner, as voted by fans, will be recognized on-field during halftime of the 2017 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target at Soldier Field in Chicago on August 2, and will receive a $25,000 donation for their selected charity.
Representing the Chicago Fire is Chris Solomons. Solomons currently works as a Program Manager and Community Ambassador for YESsoccer. In 2016, Chris ran 600 individual free clinics across 5 different states, equaling nearly 2,000 hours of free clinics and programs for over 30,000 participants. Solomons’ passion for making a difference began on a trip to Africa as a teen, when he traveled to the country of Malawi to build youth sports programs from the ground up across impoverished communities. The experience allowed him to recognize the impact sports can have on a child by providing them with a safe, enriching, and positive environment. Since then, Solomons has pursued a career in sports based youth development.
Solomons has additionally dedicated free time to the Chicago Fire Foundation, the charitable arm of the Chicago Fire Soccer Club, as a volunteer for their P.L.A.Y.S. (Participate, Learn, Achieve, Youth Soccer) Program. He attends practice for each of the 20 schools including game days. Chris designed both the coaching curriculum and the coaching evaluation for the program.
Vote for Chris by visiting the Community MVP Contest site (www.MLSsoccer.com/CommunityMVP) and using the vote or Tweet buttons for each finalist.
MLS WORKS and Wells Fargo recognize individuals who use soccer as a tool to make a difference in their community. Throughout June, MLS fans had an opportunity to nominate individuals who are helping to build better communities. Twenty-two finalists have been selected, one from each MLS club.
The finalists were selected for making a positive impact in one of the following areas:
- Social issues focusing on inclusion, diversity and equality
- Health issues affecting men, women or children
- Community service for a local, national or international charitable organization
“MLS is committed to giving back to the communities where we live and play our games,” said JoAnn Neale, Chief Administrative & Social Responsibility Officer, MLS. “The Community MVP Contest provides an opportunity for us to support and recognize the efforts of inspiring fans who are devoted to impactful community work across North America.”
Each Community MVP finalist will receive two tickets to a 2017 MLS regular season match in their local market, a trip to MLS All-Star week in Chicago, and an additional $1,000 donation from Wells Fargo, among other prizes.
“We’re proud to present the MLS WORKS Community MVP Contest for the fifth consecutive year, and we salute all the nominees for their passion and support of local nonprofit organizations across the country,” said Gary Korotzer, Executive Vice President and Head of Marketing & Brand Strategy for Wells Fargo. “Wells Fargo shares a deep commitment to supporting our local communities, and we believe when our communities thrive we can all be successful.”
About MLS WORKS
MLS WORKS, Major League Soccer’s community outreach initiative, is dedicated to addressing important social issues and serves as a platform for League and club philanthropic programs. MLS WORKS seeks to establish Major League Soccer as a leader for improving the lives of people through sport. MLS WORKS has helped to improve the communities where we live and play our games by executing programs and campaigns that focus on cancer research and treatment, anti-discrimination, community service, health and wellness, environmental sustainability and accessibility to soccer. Follow us on Twitter @MLSWORKS.