The 2012 MLS W.O.R.K.S. Community MVP Contest is still accepting nominations for people who have made a positive impact on their community. The Chicago Fire are encouraging fans to fill out the applications before the June 21 deadline. MLS W.O.R.K.S. will select one fan from each team in the league, and the winner will be invited to attend the MLS All-Star Game. I think the contest is also a nice media boost for the match against Chelsea FC.
The 2012 MLS W.O.R.K.S. Contest
MLS W.O.R.K.S. is celebrating the third year of the contest and has continued to use a simple online form for the nominations. The application requires an essay that cannot exceed 500 words. Fans are being encouraged to nominate others, but self-nomination is also allowed. The deadline for submitting nominations is June 21, and the grand prize winner will be announced at the July 25 MLS All-Star Game.
The Chicago Fire's 2011 Winner
The Chicago Fire had many nominations in 2011, and Robert Kellum was selected as the winner who represented the team. Kellum's dedication to starting a soccer program for inner city children was recognized by MLS. Unfortunately, his K.I.C.K.S. (Keeping Inner City Kids Safe) program did not earn the grand prize of $10,000. This honor went to the New York Red Bulls' fan Robert Uvanovic and the America SCORES organization.
The 2012 Prizes
Although recognition for community service is a part of the prize package, MLS W.O.R.K.S. is offering other incentives for winners. Each of the 19 winners selected from an MLS club will earn tickets and merchandise. The grand prize winner will be able to attend the MLS All-Star Game against Chelsea FC with paid accommodations and have $10,000 donated to the charity.
Each club has its own terms and rules for the contest that fans are being encouraged to read. Most of them limit the residency of nominees to adjoining states, so the Chicago Fire are limiting them to Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana. The team is also not allowing surprise nominations because all nominees must be aware of the contest and agree through written permission.
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Lana follows MLS, UEFA and FIFA. She has been a faithful fan of the Chicago Fire since 1998. Follow @Lana_Bandoim on Twitter.