Eastside FC Players Named 2018 Sounders FC Humanitarians of the Year -Awards in both Age Groups Given to EFC Players!

October 31, 2018


Sounders FC voted Ryan Chang, Eastside FC B04 Blue, as the 2018 Sounders FC Humanitarian of the Year for the 13-18 age group and twin sisters Hailey and Ashley Butz, G06 Blue, as the Humanitarians for the 12 and under age group! 




Hailey and Ashley Butz are twin sisters and teammates on Sangeeta Gogri's Eastside FC G06 Blue team.  Coach Sangeeta said she has coached the twins for three years and during that time has recognized their exceptional commitment to volunteering in the community. 


"They have amazing attitudes on and off the field and have been fully committed as players for EFC, " she said. 


The girls have an impressive amount of volunteer experience -  giving over 30 hours of time in the past year to a variety of nonprofit organizations such as: 


Northwest Harvest -Measured, bagged and loaded bulk food in NW Harvest warehouse;


St Jude’s Children’s Hospital - Planned and facilitated Star Wars movie fundraiser to raise money for childhood cancer research;


Special Olympics USA Games - Greeted and cheered on athletes, coaches and families as they arrived in Seattle at SeaTac for the games.




Ryan is 14 years old and plays on Derek Heinz’s Eastside FC B04 Blue team.  According to Coach Heinz, it was no surprise that Ryan Chang was voted by the Sounders to be the 2018 Humanitarian of the Year.


“I’m by no means shocked to learn that Ryan has received this recognition! He is a truly wonderful young man who is extremely committed to his team and teammates and to his own development as a soccer player. Whenever I need an update on league or tournament standings or an opponent’s tendencies, strengths, and/or weaknesses, Ryan can be counted upon to fill me in with impressive detail! This is a testament to how perceptive and attentive he is,” he said.


Coach Heinz added, “I’m also not at all shocked because Ryan just has the kind of character and perspective on what’s truly important that it is easy to see him as a humanitarian of any sort off the soccer field. His previous coach, Michael Smith, raves about him to no end during tryouts…I learned immediately how right Michael was, and our team has indeed benefited ever since, not only as far as our quality of soccer goes but also in how we prepare, represent our team and club, treat our opponent, etc.


In the past year, Ryan served between 180-200 community service hours! Organizations that Ryan volunteered with:


Wildcats TOPSoccer Program at Arena Sports in Magnuson Park


Pacific Science Center

R.A.C.E. with Ryan


Below, Ryan shares with us more about his commitment to community service and how his efforts serve to inspire us all! 


For the past three years, I have been volunteering as a TOPSoccer Buddy for the Wildcats TOPSoccer program at Arena Sports in Magnuson Park.  The Outreach Program for Soccer (TOPSoccer) is a program for players who have developmental and/or physical disabilities and creates an opportunity for players to be part of the soccer community.  As a TOPSoccer Buddy, I provide instruction during play, model desired skill and behavior and ensure stability in an often chaotic environment.  I have been playing soccer for over six years with Eastside FC Premier Soccer and enjoy sharing my passion for soccer with other children.  I believe that I am not just a volunteer but a friend to people who may have difficulty interacting with others.  

The most challenging part of the program is usually the initial meeting with new players.  Some players are very shy, others do not like to talk or meet new people and some players may need the extra reassurance that want you to hold their hand all of the time.  I have learned to overcome these challenges by introducing myself not only to the new player but also to the parent or guardian and ask questions about the player-what do they like, what they do not like, if I have to speak louder or quieter, is it alright to shake their hand.  This makes the player’s experience more enjoyable.


I have organized toy drives for Hopelink at Woodridge Elementary School during the past four holiday seasons.  I recruit students to help distribute collection boxes and posters around the school, I write weekly announcements and emails about the drive and ensure all of the donations are delivered to the Bellevue Hopelink location on time.  Hopelink gift rooms help parents who may not otherwise be able to provide presents during the holiday season.


This past summer I volunteered with Pacific Science Center as a Science Educator in Training (SET).  I accumulated over 100 hours assisitng camp leaders and providing help to campers.  Volunteering with Pacific Science Center allowed me to improve my leadership skills as well as explore possible career fields.


My past community involvement and playing soccer for Eastside FC where their moto is “Building Champions in Life” have inspired me to start a nonprofit organization called R.A.C.E. with Ryan.  The goal of R.A.C.E. with Ryan is to help spread awareness about Autism and support activities for people with intellectual and/or physical disabilities.  

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