Last night, retired Major League Soccer (MLS) player and Nothing But Nets Champion Diego Gutierrez was given the highest honor in sports philanthropy as he was enshrined in the World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame. Diego was a midfielder for 13 years, playing for the Kansas City Wizards, the U.S. National Team, and recently, the Chicago Fire.
But off the field, Diego became one of our campaign’s first Most Valuable Players, and has remained one of the most dedicated – helping to bring MLS to us, and Nothing But Nets to his NET-works in Chicago. He and his wife Ginna have contributed much of their time, funds and support to malaria prevention, including raising more than $48,000 through their NET-Raiser Team, “Diego.” In 2008, Diego was a recipient of the MLS Commissioner’s Award from Don Garber for his work on and off the field.
In a congratulatory letter to Diego on behalf of our entire team at the UN Foundation, Nothing But Nets Executive Director Elizabeth Gore wrote, “It has been inspiring to see your excitement catch on to those around you, including your family who are also devoted champions for malaria prevention. What an example you are setting to your children to engage your community locally to make an impact globally!”
Diego told the Kansas City Star, “To be in any sort of hall of fame is a tremendous honor, but to be in the hall of fame where you are being honored for helping others, it is something I take very, very seriously.”
Thank you, Diego, for all of your efforts to send nets and save lives. Congratulations on this very important achievement!
Check out Diego’s MVP page to learn more about his commitment to ending malaria.
Read more about this year’s Humanitarian Hall of Fame class here.