4ATX Foundation, Austin FC’s nonprofit arm, today announced Austin FC midfielder Daniel Pereira, philanthropist Gilbert Tuhabonye, and Q2 Verde Youth Leadership Academy student Sofia Galvan as the Foundation’s Legends of the Year, presented by Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages.
The annual awards recognize contributions to building physically, socially and emotionally healthier communities in Central Texas. The awards will be presented to the trio on Wednesday, October 11 at 4ATX Foundation’s “A Night in Verde” Gala Presented by St. David’s HealthCare.
“We can’t wait to come together as a community to honor the contributions of Dani, Gilbert, and Sofia,” said 4ATX Foundation Executive Director Kaitlin Mauro. “They are remarkable individuals who truly demonstrate what it means to be an authentic leader of our community.”
Each year, 4ATX Foundation awards three (3) Legend of the Year Awards Presented by Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages: one (1) to an Austin FC player for their exceptional volunteer service to the community, one (1) to a Central Texas community leader for their outstanding leadership and service in addressing health disparities and advancing health equity, and one (1) to a young person in 4ATX programs who has shown exceptional leadership skills.
Pereira, a midfielder for the Club since its inaugural season in 2021, shined on and off the field in 2023. Pereira volunteered for a number of 4ATX and Austin FC community events held in the past year including helping to unveil a new mini-pitch in Uvalde, cheering on the Austin FC Special Olympics Unified Team, granting a wish for Make-a-Wish, and playing soccer at Verde Leaders’ annual Spring Break Camp. Pereira also visited a local elementary school and spoke about his personal and professional life experiences with students, and volunteered at Clinics 4ATX pres. by St. David’s HealthCare events this past spring.
“I feel extremely honored to have received this award,” said Pereira. “As a kid from Venezuela who came to the U.S. with a dream, I know how important it is to give back to the community and to the kids who have dreams like mine.”
Tuhabonye is a genocide survivor, philanthropist and accomplished runner from Burundi. His personal mission is to spread joy, which he does daily as the inspiring leader of Gilbert's Gazelles, a popular award-winning running group in Austin. He is also the founder of the Gazelle Foundation, whose mission is to reverse the cycle of poverty by providing clean drinking water to the people of Burundi.
“I am a huge football fan and greatly respect what Austin FC has contributed to our community. To be honored as the 4ATX Foundation’s 2023 Community Legend of the Year is an amazing blessing,” said Tuhabonye. “I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to give back, and to be recognized by an organization which greatly demonstrates their shared value of supporting the citizens of Central Texas is an incredible honor.”
Sofia Galvan earns the Foundation’s Leyendita of the Year award for her commitment to 4ATX programs and desire to give back to her local community. Galvan started out in Verde Leaders as a 7th grader at Burnet Middle School. Now, as a rising sophomore at Anderson High School, she is an active member in the Q2 Verde Youth Leadership Academy, serving as a role model at her former middle school. Her dream is to be the first in her family to attend college and to keep using soccer to give back to her community.
“Being named the 2023 Leyendita of the Year means so much to me after all of my hard work coaching at practices, community days, and summer camps,” said Galvan. “For me to be here is just an honor and I want to thank all of my coaches, friends, and family for pushing me to be where I am and who I am today.”
A limited number of 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.