As Baltimore natives Johanna and Lily Agueda walk through the terminal at BWI Tuesday morning, one thing is on their minds. Their late boyfriend and father.
“This is exactly what I would want people to remember about Craig. He was a guy from Highlandtown. Everybody knew him. He loved soccer,” said Craig Willinger’s former girlfriend, Johanna Agueda.
Willinger passed away from cancer five years ago at the age of 42. But his love for the world’s most popular game is still affecting people all around the country.
“Towards the end of this life he started questioning what he wanted to do with what he had left. We were lucky enough to have a group of soccer fans raise money so Craig could go see his favorite soccer team, which is Bayern Munich,” said Johanna. “Craig and I went to Germany and had an amazing time. On the way back he said ‘This is it. This is what I want to do for other people.’
And the Craig Willinger Fund was founded.
“We’re an organization that sends children and young adults with cancer overseas to see their favorite soccer team,” added Johanna.
Now Johanna has a chance to win money that would do amazing things for the non-profit. She’ll be at Wednesday’s Major League Soccer All-Star game in Chicago as one of 22 Community MVP’s. There’s one finalist for each MLS team. Johanna is D.C. United’s finalist. She’s already earned $1,000 to donate to the Craig Willinger Fund. If she wins the online voting competition against the other finalists, she’ll get the grand prize, $25,000 for the charity.
The winner will be announced at halftime of Wednesday night’s game.
Craig’s 13-year-old daughter Lily has one message for everyone:
“Vote, like now. It will help a lot,” she said.
You have until Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. to vote for Johanna. All you have to do is go to mlsworkscmvp.com, click her name and the vote icon.