Dynamo’s Holden Named Finalist for Jefferson Award for Public Servic
Houston Dynamo midfielder Stuart Holden is one of 10 athletes named to All Stars Helping Kids’ Dream Team for Public Service, the group of finalists for Jefferson Awards for Public Service, it was announced today.
Holden and the nine other finalists will be honored for their efforts to give back to their communities at the third annual Sports Business and Philanthropy Luncheon in New York City on Tuesday, December 8. Two of the 10 will be honored as winners at the national Jefferson Awards ceremony on June 22, 2010, in Washington, D.C. Past Jefferson Award winners include four Supreme Court justices, seven Secretaries of State, Oprah Winfrey, Alan Greenspan, Peyton Manning, Colin Powell, Lance Armstrong, Barbara Bush, and Bill and Melinda Gates.
The 10 Dream Team For Public Service winners were selected by the prestigious Jefferson Award board and public voting:
• Nnamdi Asomugha (Lafayette, La.), defensive back, Oakland Raiders, NFL
• Curtis Granderson (Chicago, Ill.), all-star outfielder, Detroit Tigers, MLB
• Stuart Holden (Houston, Tex.), all-star midfielder, Houston Dynamo, MLS
• Dwight Howard (Orlando, Fla.), all-star forward, Orlando Magic, NBA
• Dirk Nowitzki (Wurzburg, Germany), all-star forward, Dallas Mavericks, NBA
• Tyrus Thomas (Baton Rouge, La.), forward, Chicago Bulls, NBA
• Justin Tuck (Coosa County, Ala.), all-pro defensive end, New York Giants, NFL
• Lauryn Williams (Rochester, Pa.), Olympian and World Champion sprinter
• Venus Williams (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.), Olympian and Grand Slam champion
• Ryan Zimmerman (Washington, N.C.), all-star outfielder, Washington Nationals, MLB
Teams from across the sports world nominated 53 athletes from 10 sports, with each athlete having a track record of community outreach, as well as a sincere passion for service. Fan voting was conducted online and via text message, with more than 25,000 votes logged during the process.
Holden, 24, is a two-time winner of the USSF Dynamo Humanitarian of the Year award for his work in the community, including his support of cancer research and awareness, particularly with child patients. On the field, he excelled in 2009, netting five game-winning goals and earning MLS Best XI and MLS All-Star First XI honors and the Dynamo Fans’ Choice Award. He also debuted at the senior national team level, scoring two goals, being named to the all-tournament team in the CONCACAF Gold Cup, and helping the United States qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. More information on Holden’s candidacy is available at HoustonDynamo.com/Holden.
“These champions represent a wide swath of success both on and off the playing field, and we are very excited to be able to honor this group,” said NFL Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott, the founder of All Stars for Kids. “The real winners in this process are the millions of people that all these athletes have assisted in community service. It is an honor for us to recognize this group and assist all of them in their very noble endeavors.”
Sam Beard, founder of the Jefferson Awards for Public Service said, “Many times we forget that elite athletes from so many different walks of life are using their stature to make an impact – especially as role models for young Americans. This group is a great cross-sampling of what is being done in so many sports to impact the lives of others. They are all leaders and champions in their own way, and we are proud to salute them all.”