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Emily Menges, Zarek Valentin awarded Stand Together Community MVP honors

Nikita Taparia, Roscoe Myrick

Emily Menges and Zarek Valentin were named this season’s Community MVPs at PTFC’s annual Stand Together banquet last night, according to a press release from the club.

Valentin’s most visible contribution to the community was the #RibbonZ campaign, where he turned a dare from a mysterious Thorns fan to wear a Hayley Raso-inspired ribbon into a fundraiser for the Sexual Minority Youth Resource Center at New Avenues for Youth.

He also, however, visited kids at pediatric hospitals, helped welcome Mustafa Abed, an Iraqi boy receiving treatment at OHSU, and worked on Habitat for Humanity projects during Stand Together Week. This is the second time Valentin has won the award.

Menges participated in multiple Stand Together Week projects, including being spotted hauling bark mulch around to protect newly-planted trees the day before the Thorns had to travel for a game. Like Valentin, she also took trips to pediatric hospitals, and “led the way in welcoming #MightyMaryn,” a young Thorns fan fighting brain cancer, according to the press release. Finally, Menges works with the I’m Not Done Yet Foundation, the nonprofit her family founded after her younger brother passed away from cancer last year. The organization works to support and improve treatment for teen cancer patients.

It’s an easy soccer club to get behind, folks.