Drew Beckie Honoured as NASL Humanitarian of the Year
OTTAWA, ON - From personal pain often comes promise, the promise of better days ahead with the support of someone who has shared a traumatic experience.
That person is Ottawa Fury FC defender Drew Beckie whose efforts to ease the pain and seemingly endless grief of youngsters who have experienced the death of a parent has earned him acknowledgement as the 2015 North American Soccer League (NASL) Humanitarian of the Year.
Beckie's commitment is borne from personal experience. His father died from cancer when he was 11 years old. Though he was born in Regina, Saskatchewan, Beckie spent much of his youth in the Denver, Colo., area and was helped during a trying time by an organization called Kids Alive.
To further that organization's effort and the work of another group, Everything Will Be O.K., Beckie last summer started a community outreach program in the Ottawa area called Walking In Grief's Shadow (WINGS) that seeks to help youngsters deal with the often crippling aftermath of the death of a parent.
"I don't want the recognition, I want it to be for the program that maybe it gets the word out for people who want to be involved and can be bigger than just the Ottawa area in the future," Beckie said.
Beckie, 25, appeared in 16 of Fury FC's league matches during the 2015 NASL season. The 6-foot-2 defender was drafted in 2013 out of the University of Denver by the Columbus Crew of MLS. After spending most of his time on that club's reserve team, Beckie latched on with Fury FC in 2014, appearing in 19 matches for the expansion team that calls Canada's capital city home.
"That's the biggest satisfaction - seeing the kids happy and the parents too," Beckie said. "Both the parents and the kids go through a traumatic thing losing someone you love in different ways. As you're older you see it in a different light than when you are younger. To have that connection between a parent and a child become better because of it is very satisfying to me. I only hope I can do more in the future."
Families and organizations with children interested in the WINGS program are encouraged to contact the club at WINGS@OttawaFuryFC.com. There is more information available on the WINGS program at www.OttawaFuryFC.com/WINGS.
After downing Minnesota United FC in Sunday's Championship Semifinal at TD Place, Beckie and his teammates head New York on Sunday as the second-year club looks to claim their first-ever North American Soccer League Championship when they face Marcos Senna, Raul and the Cosmos.
Fans that aren't traveling to New York to take in Sunday's Championship Final can join Fury fans for a Championship Watch Party at the Heart and Crown Preston (353 Preston Street), watch on Rogers TV Cable 22, stream the match online or tune in to TSN 1200 or Unique FM for all of the action from Hofstra University.
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Ottawa Fury FC Defender Drew Beckie
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North American Soccer League Stories from November 12, 2015
- New York Cosmos Launch Emoji Keyboard - New York Cosmos
- Goal of the Year: Burgos Buries 2015 Honor - Atlanta Silverbacks
- Drew Beckie Honoured as NASL Humanitarian of the Year - Ottawa Fury FC
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