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2011 Ron Burton Community Service Award Winner Jerod Mayo Transcript
JM: This thing is a little heavy. Since the day I was drafted here, the Kraft family really told me to be a good football player but they also stressed to me to be good in the community and give back. It feels so fortunate to be in a great place like this – just to have role models like these past winners [Kevin Faulk, Vince Wilfork and Matt Light], Mr. Kraft and most importantly, Mrs. Myra Kraft. Not only did she give with her funds and things like that but her time. She was on the front lines, digging the holes, putting the trees up and things like that. Just seeing examples like that really means a lot to me and hopefully I can be an example for these younger guys. I appreciate it.
Q: So you won this incredible award that you saw so many other players won before. What does that mean to you to win the Ron Burton Community Service Award?
JM: It means a lot. When I first got here to New England I really looked up to guys like Kevin Faulk and Vince Wilfork. I saw the community work that they did and I just felt like I needed to give back as well. It starts with Mr. Kraft and Mrs. Kraft. Those guys were great examples and hopefully I'll continue to do it.
Q: Why do you give back?
JM: Because I feel so blessed and fortunate to be in the position that I'm in, and feel like it's the best that I can do, to give back and see the smiles on the kids' faces. I'm all about the kids.
Q: Seeing these kids and working with these kids, what is your biggest passion when it comes to giving back? What is your number one charity?
JM: Like I said, my biggest passion is just giving back to the kids; they're our future and I know it sounds cliché, but it's the truth. Some of them really don't have direction and things like that, so anytime it has something to do with the kids I'm always there.
Q: You guys are role models. What would be your message to other players?
JM: Just to always give back. We are blessed and fortunate to be in the position that we're in. There are a lot of eyes on us, so you always have to be a role model and always give back – not only with your money and things like that, but also with your time.
Q: It really is unbelievable to see how many of the community events you attend. I know it's difficult to balance football and community, but it's obviously something that is important to you.
JM: It's very important. Like I said, it first started when I first got here. They told me to be a good football player but also to be very well balanced as far as giving back to the community.
Q: You mentioned the smiles on the kids' faces. How do you really connect with the kids and how do you feel after the events?
JM: I always look back on my childhood. I was that kid looking up to guys giving back to us. I feel like I'm in that same role now.
Q: Is it fitting for you to win it this year, with this year's focus on the military and volunteerism, since your grandfather was in the military?
JM: It is. You know a lot about my background. My grandfather was in the military. It's very fitting right now just to win this award. I just don't know what to say, I'm overwhelmed.