This month, we celebrate Soccer for All by recognizing men and women who are making a difference in the LQBTQ+ community. Soccer for All represents the dedication of the Rapids and Major League Soccer to provide an environment where staff, players, partners and fans are treated with dignity and respect regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status.
This month, we're honoring Julie Thompson, Ben Young and Naomi Umstot.
Read the incredible stories from the Community Team of the Week below & send us your nominees here!
Julie Thompson is a purchasing and lighting consultant at Urban Lights who has helped bring together a neighborhood for the first-ever Edgewater Pride Parade. She was nominated by her friend Andrea Garza.
"Since the beginning of COVID-19, Julie has been an extraordinary friend and neighbor ready to help those around her," Garza said. "When COVID started, and resources were limited, she gathered supplies and began making masks for anyone who needed them, at no charge. But more recently, Thompson has done something even more unique. In the age of COVID, it can be hard to bring others together, and stop the spread of the virus. What started as a couple of neighbors getting together for a weekly "happy hour" and getting to know one another, turned this year's pride into something special. Julie helped bring together a community and a neighborhood for the first-ever Edgewater Pride Parade, in a way that kept social distancing and showed support for the LGBTQ community members. Julie has one of the BIGGEST hearts I know. She is always there to lend a hand, share some wisdom and is a light to those around her. For all this and more, I believe Julie Thompson deserves a giant 'Thank You' from the Rapids family."
Ben Young is the Director of Sales and Marketing at OUTFRONT Magazine who has been highlighting the LGBTQ community in Colorado. He was nominated by his friend Bianca Velez.
"Ben and the staff at OUTFRONT Magazine do an amazing job highlighting and working with the amazing LGBTQ community in Colorado," Velez said. "Their Aurora Pride brings the community together for a fun and beautiful day celebrating one another."
Naomi Umstot is Broad Secretary and Parliamentarian for Harmony A Colorado Chorale and who has performed before Rapids games.
"Naomi is someone I’ve worked with to book Harmony for appearances and is always a delight to work with," said Rapids Event Presentation Manager Taylor Milner. "Harmony’s mission is being the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, queer, straight allied voices of harmony to embrace and inspire an inclusive community through song, which is exactly what they do."