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4ATX Foundation, Austin FC’s nonprofit arm, today announced Austin FC goalkeeper Brad Stuver, LifeWorks Austin CEO Susan McDowell, and Verde Leaders student Alex Leyva as the Foundation’s 2022 award recipients, presented by Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages.

The annual awards recognize contributions to building physically, socially, and emotionally healthier communities in Central Texas, and will be presented to the trio Thursday, September 22 at 4ATX Foundation’s “A Night in Verde Gala” Presented by St. David’s Healthcare. Stuver and McDowell received the Foundation’s Legends of the Year award, while Leyva received the Foundation’s first-ever Leyendita award.

“Brad, Susan, and Alex are fantastic representatives of both our Club and our community,” said 4ATX Foundation Executive Director Kaitlin Mauro. “It’s our privilege to be able to honor them with these awards, and we’d like to congratulate each of them for helping to make Austin a better place for all who live here.”

Each year, 4ATX Foundation awards two (2) Legend of the Year awards presented by Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages, one (1) to an Austin FC player and one (1) to a Central Texas community leader for their outstanding leadership and service.

In his second season with ATXFC, Stuver has not only stood out for his performances on the pitch, but also for his commitment to serving the Austin community. In addition to several other causes, Stuver is heavily involved with The Laundry Project, an organization that helps lower-income families meet their needs of washing clothes and linens by paying for and providing the service. Earlier this year, Stuver became the first-ever soccer player to be nominated for the ESPN Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian of the Year award, and spoke on a panel at SXSW titled “Athlete Activism: Using Sport for Social Good.”

“It’s an honor to be named one of the 4ATX Foundation’s Legends of the Year,” said Stuver. “As a pro athlete, I’m fortunate to be in a position where I can use my platform to advocate for others in the Austin community and beyond.”

McDowell has been the CEO of LifeWorks Austin since 1995, a youth and family service organization based in Austin which helps transition-aged youth achieve self-sufficiency through housing, education, and mental health support. Since the founding of the organization, it has grown to serve more than 3,000 families annually through multiple locations. McDowell helped bring together numerous nonprofits, business, and public agencies to develop Austin’s Coordinated Plan to End Youth Homelessness. Since October of 2018, this plan has resulted in 1,034 youth transitioning from homelessness to permanent housing. She has also received the Austinite (Under 40) of the Year Award and Central Texas Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award from Ernst & Young.

“I am beyond honored to receive this award. Every single day I have the privilege of working with hundreds of dedicated staff, volunteers and youth who share a very clear common goal of creating opportunity for youth in our community,” said McDowell. “This goal is at the heart of the 4ATX Foundation. Having my work – and by extension, that of LifeWorks – recognized by a respected peer is the highest of honors.”

Leyva is the first-ever recipient of the Foundation’s Leyendita award presented by Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages, given to a young person under the age of 18 who participates in 4ATX Foundation programs, has shown exceptional leadership skills, as well as a desire to better their community. He has been a part of the Foundation’s Verde Leaders program since fall 2021, an afterschool program which provides students the skills and community of support they need to find personal and academic success. A rising seventh-grader at Burnet Middle School, Leyva earned the award through his love for Verde Leaders, soccer, and his community, including his family, teammates, and coaches.

"It has been a privilege to have Alex in the Verde Leaders program this past year," said Mauro. "At only 12 years old, he is just getting started and we can't wait to see all that he will accomplish in middle school, high school, and beyond."

Tables and tickets are on sale now for the gala and can be purchased by clicking here. Austin FC players and coaches will attend the event from 6 to 10 p.m. CDT at Q2 Stadium, which will feature a VIP Cocktail Hour in the Q2 Field Club presented by PointsBet, a program and sit-down dinner in the Lexus Club, a silent and live auction, and an afterparty with a live musical performance in the Q2 Field Club.