Jacob Interviews….LLS Man of the Year Candidate Matt Besler

Matt Besler works his magic to defend Sporting Kansas City on the soccer field and people affected by leukemia and lymphoma off the field. (Photo property of Kory Brinton/Sporting Kansas City).

By: Jacob Elyachar

When he is not defending his fellow Sporting Kansas City teammates during soccer matches at Livestrong Sporting Park in Kansas City, Matt Besler continues to be an ambassador of hope off the field as a candidate for the Mid-America chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Man of the Year.    Recently, jacobelyacharjournalist.com caught up with the Major League Soccer All-Star to talk about his campaign and how his fans have united to help him raise money for the LLS Man of the Year campaign.

Jacob Elyachar: How did you get involved with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society?

Matt Besler: I got involved through Sporting Kansas City.  A lot of the people who get involved are directly affected by leukemia and lymphoma either with family, relatives or friends.  Fortunately, I have not been personally affected so I got involved because Sporting Kansas City have some interest in it and I asked about it through them and as I got more and more involved with the organization, I have met and formed relationships with people who have been directly affected (by the diseases).

JE: What was your reaction when you were nominated to be one of the finalists for the Mid-America chapter’s Man of the Year?

MB: I was honored.  It is a great honor.  I was excited that I was going to be given an opportunity to raise money for a good cause and I always enjoy representing Sporting Kansas City anytime I can.

JE: Can you describe your campaign?

MB: For my campaign, I targeted three different areas.  I targeted the Sporting Kansas City avenue that includes fans, different events, giveaways and jerseys.  The second avenue that I tried to hit was the Notre Dame family and my Notre Dame connections.  I went to college there for four years and there is a pretty strong base in Kansas City.    I worked with them a little bit on raising money.  The third kind of avenue for me was just my close family, friends and my old high school: Blue Valley West.   Since I grew up in Kansas City, I still had a lot of contacts and I tried to hit that a little bit.

JE: You just mentioned that the Sporting Kansas City family and fan base has helped you during your campaign.  How have they helped your campaign?

MB: They have been terrific!  It has been unbelievable the support that fans have invested in my campaign.  You don’t expect complete strangers sometimes to be so willing to give back and that exactly is what Sporting Kansas City fans have done.  They have raised thousands of dollars so far for me and it has really been fun thing to be a part of.

JE: We are getting close to the end of the competition.  What are some of your last big fundraising pushes going to be?

MB: This Saturday (May 5), we are hosting a Besler Gives Back night at our game against Montreal (Impact) at Livestrong Sporting Park and $2 of every ticket bought is going to be donated to my campaign and there are also commemorative jerseys and t-shirts that are going to be sold at that match.   This will be the final campaign push.

JE: Now if anyone wants to contribute to your campaign, how can they help you?

MB: They can go to my Website at the Mid-America Chapter site: https://mid.dojiggy.com/pledge/index.cfm?585F220809737366790616177143245D357E747B0973760701 or head to the Sporting Kansas City’s Website: http://www.sportingkc.com/

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