2010 Patterson Award

CONTACT:
Alisha Greenberg, 301-657-9379, pattersonaward@rwjf.org

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Soccer Foundation and the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation have been named winners of the 2010 Steve Patterson Award for Excellence in Sports Philanthropy. The prize is awarded annually by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to the professional sports organization and individual sports philanthropy that most effectively demonstrates excellence, leadership, and a sustained commitment toward a mission that serves and improves the lives of others.

RWJF established the award in 2005 in memory of Steve Patterson, the UCLA basketball star, NBA player and college coach who became known, during and after his career, for his belief in and practice of the power of sports philanthropy to make a difference in people’s lives. Patterson died of cancer in July 2004 at the age of 56.

Previous winners of the sports organization category have been the Philadelphia Eagles Youth Partnership (2005), Jacksonville Jaguars Foundation (2006), Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation (2007), San Francisco Giants Community Fund (2008), and the Red Sox Foundation (2009). Individual athlete category winners have been The Moyer Foundation (2007), started by All-Star Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Jamie Moyer and his wife Karen; Steve Nash Foundation (2008), founded by the two-time NBA MVP Phoenix Suns guard; and Marvin Lewis Community Fund (2009), begun by the Cincinnati Bengals 2009 AP Coach of the Year.

Over the past 16 years, this year’s winners have collectively contributed close to $75 million to community programs aligned with their missions.

The U.S. Soccer Foundation is the Major Charitable Arm of Soccer in the United States. Established in 1994, the Foundation has distributed more than $51 million to groups across the country, supporting the development of 1,100 fields and reaching more than 4.9 million total players. The Foundation uses soccer as a tool for social change and, in doing so, focuses its efforts on supporting programs and field-building projects that improve the health and well-being of children.

Its Soccer for Success program provides free after-school soccer programming for at-risk, urban youth in grades K–8, offering a safe environment to exercise, work with mentors, and develop important life skills. The U.S. Soccer Foundation’s Passback Program is a community service initiative that collects and distributes new and gently used soccer equipment, providing children and organizations across the globe with a chance to play and learn the game. To build upon these efforts, the U.S. Soccer Foundation holds a series of free soccer clinics across the U.S. and is partnering with the National Alliance for Hispanic Health to provide free family health screenings at each Tour stop. The Foundation also organizes an annual Urban Soccer Symposium – a national event designed to help develop new programs and strengthen existing organizations committed to using soccer as a tool for positive youth development in under-resourced communities. By supporting the development of safe playing fields and offering soccer programs that provide participants with mentoring, tutoring, and nutritional guidance, the U.S. Soccer Foundation is working to ensure that children develop not only as athletes, but as people.

More than $24 million dollars has been distributed since the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation was formed in 1997. Mutombo is a humanitarian who is committed to improving the quality of life for people in his native Democratic Republic of the Congo. After playing basketball at Georgetown University, he played 18 seasons in the NBA and was Defensive Player of the Year four times before retiring in 2009. Giving back to his homeland remains a huge priority for Mutombo. In 2007, the Foundation opened the Biamba Marie Mutombo hospital in the Congo. It is a state –of-the-art complex that has brought modern medicine to the undeveloped area where he grew up. The hospital has a staff of over 400 employees and provides care to close to 20,000 patients of all ages each year.

Mutombo’s efforts as the NBA Global Ambassador, board member for UNICEF and the National Constitution Center and former spokesman for the international relief agency CARE have earned him numerous accolades. Mutombo has been the recipient of the President’s Service Award, J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award, and the National Civil Rights Museum Sports Legacy Award; he has also been inducted into the World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame.

“I am delighted to see the commitment the U.S. Soccer Foundation has shown to promoting physical activity and healthy living through the sport of soccer,” said RWJF President Risa Lavizzo-Mourey. “And I’m equally impressed by the dramatic impact on health and health care that Dikembe Mutombo has had through his foundation’s work in his native Democratic Republic of the Congo. These are two wonderful examples of the power that philanthropy can have in people’s lives when practiced so strategically and consistently.”

“We are truly honored to be recognized by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted solely to the public’s health, and to be in the company of so many other excellent organizations,” said U.S. Soccer Foundation President and CEO Ed Foster-Simeon. “The attention this award brings to our work, particularly our focus on healthy living and combating childhood obesity, is invaluable.”

“I remain loyal to providing opportunities to those less fortunate around the world,” Dikembe Mutombo said. “To be recognized with an award in honor of another former NBA player is a highlight of my work in sports philanthropy.”

The U.S. Soccer Foundation will be formally recognized with the Steve Patterson Award in Washington, D.C. at the annual Sneaker Ball on Tuesday, September 14th. On October 19th, Dikembe Mutombo will be presented with the award at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in Princeton, NJ.

“Both of the 2010 award winners represent Steve’s vision of and devotion to improving the lives of others,” said Carlette Patterson, Steve’s widow and president of Patterson Sports Ventures. “Our family is honored that two strategic organizations are continuing his legacy.”
 

About the Steve Patterson Award for Excellence in Sports Philanthropy
The Steve Patterson Award for Excellence in Sports Philanthropy is presented annually by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The award acknowledges sports organizations and individual sports philanthropies that have demonstrated excellence, leadership, and a sustained commitment toward a mission that serves and improves the lives of others. www.rwjf.org/patterson.

About the U.S. Soccer Foundation
The U.S. Soccer Foundation is the Major Charitable Arm of Soccer in the United States. Established in 1994, the U.S. Soccer Foundation has invested more than $51 million, supporting hundreds of projects in every state. The U.S. Soccer Foundation supports programs and field building projects that provide low-income and at-risk youth in urban communities with soccer programs that promote education, healthy lifestyles, leadership and positive alternatives to drugs, crime and other at-risk behaviors. www.ussoccerfoundation.org.

About the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation
The Dikembe Mutombo Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that is dedicated to improving the health, education and quality of life for the people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Created in 1997, the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation is attempting to eradicate many childhood diseases that have virtually disappeared in developed countries while those diseases are still life threatening to children in the Congo every day. The Foundation strives to accomplish this goal through an emphasis on primary health care and disease prevention, the promotion of health policy, health research and increased access to health care education for the people of the Congo. www.dmf.org

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF)
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful, and timely change. For more than 35 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime. www.rwjf.org.

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For all media inquiries, including requests for interviews and additional information, please contact Alisha Greenberg at 301-657-9379 or pattersonaward@rwjf.org.

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    adidas, the Foundation’s Safe Places to Play – Mini-Pitch Partner, supports providing children in underserved communities with safe play spaces nationwide. adidas strives to be the globally leading and most popular sporting goods brand. Dedicated to innovation,  adidas embraces creativity and seeks to be socially responsible in all facets of its brand. For more information, please visit adidas.com.

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    DICK’S Sporting Goods and The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation believe that participation in sports makes people better. Since 2014, DICK’S and The DICK’S Foundation have pledged more than $100 million to support youth sports teams and leagues in need.  Through our Sports Matter initiative we strive to increase awareness for underfunded youth athletics nationwide and provide much-needed support through equipment, uniform and monetary donations. For more information on Sports Matter, visit SportsMatter.org.

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    Hunter Industries, the Foundation’s National Partner for Irrigation Equipment, is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of irrigation equipment for turf, landscape and soccer fields.  Hunter Industries’ focus is on landscape irrigation with a significant part of its business centering on the proper care and maintenance of sports turf. For more information, please visit hunterindustries.com. Please contact Lynda Wightman, 406-273-3073, lynda.wightman@hunterindustries.com with any questions regarding the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s grants program.

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    Johnson & Johnson, the Foundation’s grant partner, is dedicated to supporting the next generation of female leaders by providing greater access to girls’ youth soccer programming in underserved communities nationwide. As the world’s largest and most broadly based healthcare company, Johnson & Johnson strives to create healthier communities, and put a healthy mind, body and environment within reach of everyone, everywhere. For more information, please visit www.jnj.com.

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    Kwik Goal, the Foundation’s Official Supplier for goals, seating, boundary equipment, training equipment and coaching accessories, will be supporting a variety of Foundation programs and initiatives including: Soccer for Success, National Training and the Safe Places to Play program. Over thirty years ago, Kwik Goal was founded on the revolutionary concept of providing transportable goals for coaches at all age levels. Since that time, Kwik Goal has continued to focus on helping coaches and soccer programs create safe and dynamic learning environments by supplying high quality, safety tested soccer goals, field equipment and training equipment to the domestic and international market. For more information, please visit Kwikgoal.com.

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    MLS WORKS, Major League Soccer’s community outreach initiative, is dedicated to addressing important social issues and serves as a platform for both 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 is committed to improving the communities where we live and play our games by executing national programs and legacy projects, charitable giving campaigns, and undertaking various initiatives in underserved communities.

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    As a proud corporate partner of the U.S. Soccer Foundation, Musco is dedicated to helping the major charitable arm of American soccer create new opportunities through high-quality sports lighting. Their Total Light Control—TLC for LED™ technology is engineered as a system with lighting, structural, and electrical components designed to work together for streamlined installation and long-term reliability. TLC for LED delivers superior field lighting while eliminating glare and spill from impacting surrounding neighborhoods. And Musco’s long-term warranty covering parts and labor means U.S. Soccer Foundation partners don’t have to handle any maintenance on their system, or pay for it, for 25 years. Visit https://ussoccerfoundation.org/grants/ to learn more about the grant program and application process.

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    SCORE Sports, the preferred provider of shin guards to the Foundation’s Soccer for Success program, is a family-owned and operated business specializing in sports equipment, uniforms and apparel. SCORE is an industry leader and has been involved in the sports community for over 40 years. SCORE outfits athletes with high-quality uniforms that SCORE develops, designs and manufactures in the U.S. SCORE takes pride in working with various non-profit groups and causes to give back to athletes who may need some extra support to play the game they love. SCORE is environmentally cautious with the materials it uses for its products and does its part in minimizing our environmental footprint. SCORE proudly offers a wide variety of products to provide customers with a one-stop shop for all your soccer needs. For more information, please visit scoresports.com.

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    Soccer.com, the Foundation’s National Partner for Soccer Equipment and Uniforms, was founded in 1984 to provide high quality soccer gear at reasonable prices through its nationally circulated catalog. Soccer.com embodies a passion for the game that extends to the people who play, coach and support soccer. For more information, please visit soccer.com.

  • Target

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    Target announced a national partnership with Safe Places to Play in 2017, along with a $6 million commitment to build 100 new soccer play spaces with the U.S. Soccer Foundation by 2020. This is the latest initiative in the Minneapolis-based retailer’s multi-dimensional approach to the sport of soccer, bringing the game to more kids and families across the country, and unlocking access and increasing involvement at all levels.

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