Benson Named WUSA Humanitarian Of The Year
Defender Earns Honor For Her Community Involvement Throughout The Delaware Valley
Tuesday, August 19, 2003
By Greg Wiley
Philadelphia Charge Correspondent
Philadelphia Charge defender Jenny Benson was named the WUSA Humanitarian of the Year on Tuesday. Benson earned the honor over fellow finalists Nel Fettig of the Carolina Courage and Jaime Pagliarulo of the San Diego Spirit. Benson was also a finalist for this same award last season.
The Humanitarian of the Year award recognizes the player who demonstrates exemplary community involvement. It is the only WUSA award that does not recognize a player for her actions on the playing field, but for her ability to go above and beyond the call to contribute in her community. WUSA coaches, general managers, players and members of the media voted for the Humanitarian of the Year.
Benson, who was the only Charge player to be nominated for any of this year's season-ending awards, earned the honor due to her undying dedication off the field. Not only a leader on the field, Benson is regularly involved in community activities, most notably through her work with the Gia Nicole Angel Fund.
Throughout the past two seasons Benson and Gia Gaudet, 12, have teamed up for various events to help raise money for the Gia Nicole Angel Fund. Earlier this season, Benson and Gaudet, along with the Charge players and coaches, took part in a bowl-a-thon that helped raise money for the fund. Also this season, Benson and teammate Hope Solo took over as guest bartenders for a night at Winner's Bar and Grill, donating all their tips to the Gia Nicole Angel Fund. Benson and Gaudet, a Northeast Philadelphia resident who has Spina Bifida, visited St. Christopher's Hospital on Easter Sunday handing out stuffed bunnies to children who could not make it home for the holiday.
Benson also frequently takes part in other community activities like soccer clinics and visits to local schools. Benson was one of three featured speakers at a local "Successful Student Athlete Forum" in June, speaking to the student athletes about the benefits of being active, teamwork and staying in school. She was also named the 2002 Extra Effort award winner by the David Akers' Kicks for Kids Foundation for her efforts throughout the community.
The Charge recently finished their 2003 season. For information on 2004 season tickets call the Charge at 215-467-GOAL or log on to PhiladelphiaCharge.com for up to date information on Charge players and other features from around the league.
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