Charlie Bedard and Karlina Ott have been longtime Earthquakes Season Ticket Holders and club advocates for social causes in our local communities. Charlie and Karlina helped organize the Bedard Foundation in memory of their son Andrew Bedard, a young Earthquakes fan who passed away at age 8 and had The Andrew Bedard "Spirit of the Game" Award named after him. The award is now presented annually to the Earthquakes player that works hard in the community and best embodies Andrew’s positive attitude both on and off the field. In addition to the Bedard Foundation, both Charlie and Karlina have been involved in other numerous projects with the Earthquakes and currently sit on the board of the Quakes Foundation.
Karlina Ott talks about receiving the Devotion Scarf and her proud history with the club.
“Having been involved with the Quakes, I have come to love soccer. When Adrian started kindergarten, I quickly figured it out that all of the kids were going to soccer on Saturdays and that’s how we joined AYSO. Having to watch the Quakes play in good years and bad years, it made me fall I love with the club. The very first soccer game we went to, we ended the night at autograph alley. We got our programs signed. The boys got Landon Donovan and Joe Cannon’s signature. I had just gotten my first digital camera and I was trying to figure it out. Joe Cannon took a picture with the boys, the last player out there. I told him, “Whoops, I didn’t get the photo” as he was walking away. He came back to take the photo again with the boys. Some of my biggest memories is going to Quakes games and going to autograph alley. Andrew fell in love with Pat Onstad. My husband is from Canada, and Andrew loved to play keeper. We would stay so long after games so we could just say hello to Pat, his wife and his baby. It’s that spirit of being attached to the fans and being open to the fans is my vision of the Quakes.”
“I find it very gratifying that people notice the plaque and read the plaque. I stop by the plaque before every game and just stop to just be there with him. At games, I wear my 2004 scarf which has a button from when Andrew played soccer. I was standing there one day when they closed off the tunnel and there was a Dad and his boy who was seven or eight standing beside me. He kept looking at the plaque and then back at the button, and I think he even got it.”
“I’m so glad the Quakes took over ownership of the Andrew Bedard Award. Soccer Silicon Valley started it. It’s so gratifying to see it continue. Right after Andrew passed in 2005, in our local AYSO, I put together and designed a sportsmanship award that we gave to the boys team and girls team in under 10. We have gotten so much positive feedback about it. If you want to know how it touches a player receiving that award, ask Chris [Wondolowski]. I’ve had coaches and players come up to me years later and tell me that it’s the only trophy that they keep. Chris has talked to me personally to tell me how deeply it has touched me several times. It’s nice to see that spirit. It’s not necessarily about keeping his name alive, but it’s about keeping on the spirit that he represented. That’s what it means to me. Any kid that’s eight years old and comes off a losing game and say ‘It doesn’t matter what the score is, if you have a great attitude you’re a winner’ I feel like what else can I do.”
“[Andrew] was so enthusiastic about life. He was just full of positive energy. This was a kid who - when I asked him if he liked my cooking - would say ‘I don’t like it. I love it!’ He just approached so many things that way. I have trouble thinking about him without smiling because he was just so full of that positive feeling.”