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Celebrating Volunteerism




The Patriots Celebrate Volunteerism


PATRIOTS DIFFERENCE MAKERS
Congratulations to Patriots Difference Maker of the Year
Kevin Watson
 
On Dec. 28, Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft, President of the Patriots Charitable Foundation Josh Kraft and Patriots and Pro Football Hall of Famer Andre Tippett presented a check for $20,000 to Pine Street Inn. Kevin Watson, a volunteer for the organization, was named as the 2014 Patriots Difference Maker of the Year and was on hand to pose for a photo with a commemorative check.Patriots players, including tight end Rob Gronkowski, could be found volunteering out in the community each Tuesday throughout the season.


Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft was joined by members of the Patriots Women’s Association at the Women’s Lunch Place in Boston to help serve meals to women in need.

Patriots cheerleaders and mascot, Pat Patriot, were very active in the community throughout the season. From promoting the PLAY 60 message to supporting holiday initiatives, they were key supporters of the Celebrate Volunteerism initiative.
Throughout the season, 15 outstanding volunteers were named as a Patriots Difference Maker of the Week and were recognized at Patriots Community Tuesday events. During the players one day off, they could be found out in the community at a nonprofit organization based around the weekly theme. Patriots players interacted with children and families each week and presented the Patriots Difference Maker of the Week with an honorary medal and autographed football.

All 15 winners were invited to the regular season finale against the Buffalo Bills on December 28 at Gillette Stadium to be a part of a special pregame ceremony. The Patriots Difference Makers were welcomed onto the sideline prior to the game to watch the team's warm up. Following warm ups, the volunteers were escorted onto the field by Patriots cheerleaders to be recognized in front of the Gillette Stadium crowd.

The Patriots Difference Makers were surprised with an announcement that each of their nonprofits would be receiving a $5,000 grant from the Kraft family and Foundation. They were also informed that one lucky Patriots Difference Maker would be named as the Patriots Difference Maker of the Year and receive a $20,000 grant for their respective nonprofit organization.

Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft, President of the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation Josh Kraft and Patriots and Pro Football Hall of Famer and Executive Director of Community Affairs Andre Tippett presented the 2014 Patriots Difference Maker of the Year Kevin Watson from Pine Street Inn with a $20,000 check to the organization for his volunteer efforts.

“These volunteers have shown a genuine commitment to bettering our communities,” said Kraft. “Each of them saw a need and have been steadfast in their dedication to helping others. It is incredible to hear their heartwarming stories of volunteering and we are pleased to once again honor them at our season finale. It is our hope that these grants will allow their respective nonprofits to continue to serve children and families across New England.”

As part of the initiative and Patriots Community Tuesdays, current and former Patriots players made more than 400 appearances in New England communities throughout the year, participating in activities that included reading books to students, visiting patients in hospitals, giving back to children and families during the holidays and encouraging children to exercise 60 minutes a day through the NFL PLAY 60 campaign.

The Patriots Women’s Association and Patriots families also joined the Celebrate Volunteerism initiative by participating in book, coat and toy drives throughout the season. They also joined more than 20 current and former Patriots players to distribute 220 complete Thanksgiving meals to families in need, prepared for the annual Children’s Holiday Party for 250 children and served lunch to women in homeless shelter programs in Boston.

The Kraft family and Patriots Charitable Foundation will continue to Celebrate Volunteerism during the post-season, off-season and seasons to come. The Celebrate Volunteerism initiative aims to share examples of dedicated volunteers, build awareness of the need for volunteering, identify and educate others about volunteer opportunities and inspire New Englanders to follow the Kraft family’s example of becoming lifelong volunteers.

For more information about the Celebrate Volunteerism initiative, including resources and information about volunteering, the “Patriots Difference Maker” award, and to join the Celebrate Volunteerism movement by pledging volunteer hours, visit www.patriots.com/community.

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OF THE PATRIOTS DIFFERENCE MAKERS


Patriots Difference Makers were hosted as guests of
the Kraft family at the Patriots game on Dec. 28.
 
 Week  Volunteerism
Weekly Focus
Organization  Patriots Difference Maker   Hometown 
9/14  Youth Weymouth High School/Project 351 Tara Balan Weymouth, Mass.
9/21  Exercise & Healthy Eating New England Dairy Council Jaclyn Galvin Whitman, Mass.
9/28  Education Bottom Line Michele Scavongelli Carlisle, Mass.
10/5  Healthcare Kraft Family Blood Donor Center Lou Dittami Milford, Mass.
10/12  Arts and Music Plugged In Teen Rock Band Tom Pugh Needham, Mass.
10/19  Sports Tenacity Jacob Vlahakis East Boston, Mass.
10/26  Mentoring SMILES Lee Snitzer Fall River, Mass.
11/2  Animals Animal Protection Center of SE Mass. Diane Campbell Brockton, Mass.
11/9  Special Needs AccesSportAmerica Mark Young Bridgewater, Mass.
11/16  Military and Veterans Homes for our Troops Donna Ross Norton, Mass.
11/23  Hunger Awareness Merrimack Valley Food Bank Debbie Grimard Dracut, Mass.
11/30  Bullying, Drug and Violence Prevention Playworks Massachusetts Aubre Carreon Boston, Mass.
12/7  Holiday Giving Timothy’s Toy Box Tim Gilbert Framingham, Mass.
12/14  Homelessness Awareness Pine Street Inn Kevin Watson Boston, Mass.
12/21  Senior Advocacy The Friends Program Caren Bonisteel Chichester, N.H.


To view the 2013 Celebrate Volunteerism initiative, click here