FRISCO, Texas – On Thursday, MLS Works and FC Dallas announced that Mark Lund was named as a MLS WORKS Community MVP finalist. Mark started volunteering with Special Olympics Texas after moving from Los Angeles to Dallas in 1994. He got started in the Area 10 (Dallas) Area Management Team and jumped aboard as the soccer director. His primary goal in this role was to expand soccer participation across the Dallas area.
Mark has been the Special Olympics Texas Area 10 volunteer soccer director for the last 23 years. During this time, he has been responsible for coordinating the annual Area 10 Soccer Competition, which annually consists of over 20 teams and 200-plus athletes.
Mark credits a strong group of volunteers for the success of the Special Olympics Texas soccer program in the Dallas area. Three individuals, Darren Hartsock, Doug Kreyling, and John Bounds have volunteered with Mark for the past 10 years.
In 2013, Mark cultivated a relationship with the TCU Women’s Soccer team and head coach Eric Bell. During that spring, TCU held their first soccer clinic for Special Olympics Texas athletes and coaches, an event that is now running strong in its 5th year of existence.
Mark has been working with the Special Olympics soccer program since 1994. Connecting tons of kids to the beautiful game ⚽️ Please go vote!! https://t.co/2jPekOuWRs— Tesho Akindele (@Tesho13) July 13, 2017
In August of that same year, Mark worked with Melissa Reddick, the Executive Director for the FC Dallas Foundation, to put together the first Special Olympics Texas/FC Dallas Unified Soccer team. The group had less than a month to prepare for their first game against the Special Olympics Colorado/Colorado Rapids Unified team. Mark helped put together the group for their first travel trip in the fall of 2013, a first-time travel experience for many of the Special Olympics Texas athletes.
In August of 2015, a new FC Dallas team and coaching staff was selected. This group traveled to Los Angeles and Kansas City to play LA Galaxy and Sporting KC, and also played home matches against LA Galaxy and Chicago Fire. Mark helped with the selection process for the first team as well as a new academy program of Special Olympics Texas athletes and Unified Partners in the spring of 2017.
You can vote for for Mark Lund and his efforts now through August 2nd (1 p.m. CT). The Grand Prize winner will be announced during halftime of the 2017 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target and receive a $25,000 donation for a charitable cause, in this case, benefitting Special Olympics Texas.