Marilyn MacDonald always represented the best characteristics of volunteerism and dedication. Her work for AYSO and for soccer demonstrated a commitment to AYSO ideals and principles. Marilyn's strong position to protect the rights of AYSO players resulted in the landmark lawsuit "USSF vs. RIYSA" whose victory allowed AYSO players to participate in USSF and USYSA tournaments and interplay. Through her courage and unwillingness for AYSO players to be excluded, AYSO won national respect equal in stature to other members of the United States Soccer Federation. Marilyn was the founder of Region 715 in Providence, Rhode Island, and served as Regional Commissioner and the Area 3-B Director. She volunteered in AYSO for 19 years until her untimely passing on Sept. 30, 2007. In the words of a local volunteer: "The smiling faces of the children bear testament to Marilyn's devotion to the AYSO philosophies and the positive results brought about by truly believing in them." Marilyn embodied the reality that volunteers at the AYSO grassroots level can make a difference.
Joel Mark has been involved in all levels of AYSO, including three terms as National President, in his 24 years as a volunteer. His contributions are evidenced by being an original member of the Child and Volunteer Protection Commission, chairman of the AYSO+ Commission, AYSO representative on USSF committees and his current position as chair of the AYSO Audit Committee. Through Joel's participation as a coach, referee, executive member and as a task force, commission and committee chair and member, he has provided our organization with strong leadership and sound advice. Joel liked being president, but he really loved when kids that he had coached—now all grown up—would come up and ask him if he "remembered them." Those kids always remembered Joel for all the positives that he gave them and his wonderful smile. Joel's dedication to AYSO has served as an example to others of giving all that you have to give.