Soccer News: Portland Timbers Goalkeeper Joe Bendik Recognized as MLS W.O.R.KS. Humanitarian of the Month
Soccer Players Doing Good in the World: Bendik honored for fundraising efforts for Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
Portland Timbers goalkeeper Joe Bendik has been awarded the MLS W.O.R.K.S. Humanitarian of the Month for July, it was announced today. Bendik was recognized for his awareness and fundraising efforts around the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Great Strides event in Portland in May.
In support of his eight-year-old nephew, Gavin, who battles Cystic Fibrosis, Bendik and his family have long been advocates for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and efforts in finding a cure for the disease.
Bendik led the Portland chapter of Team Gavin in the Great Strides event at Portland’s Oaks Park on May 19. Through the support from the walk and from his teammates who donated gear for an auction, Bendik helped raise close to $3,000 to aid in the fight against Cystic Fibrosis. Along with the money generated at the local event, Team Gavin raised more than $30,000 nationwide.
Bendik, in his first MLS season and third as a professional, has personally been involved in awareness and fundraising efforts for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Cystic Fibrosis since his senior year at Clemson University. He has plans for other fundraising events in the near future, including a charity golf tournament and working with a local high school on an alumni football game.
In his first season with the Timbers, Bendik, 23, joined the club after playing his first two professional seasons in Norway with Songdal. He has appeared in four of the Timbers’ MLS Reserve League matches and made his MLS debut April 28. A native of Marietta, Ga., Bendik finished his collegiate career at Clemson ranked among school leaders in shutouts, saves, saves per game, wins and minutes played.
Bendik has also played a part in the Timbers’ community outreach initiatives this season. Through the club’s community outreach platform, Stand Together, the Timbers’ community mission is to harness the power of sport to improve the lives of children and families in the region through targeted programs, deep partnerships and philanthropic giving.