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Kraft family and Patriots Charitable Foundation Award $200,000 in Grants in Honor of Myra Kraft

Posted Jun 20, 2013

Twenty-six volunteers from across New England were honored as Myra Kraft Community MVPs in a ceremony at Gillette Stadium on June 12.


Twenty-six volunteers from across New England were honored as Myra Kraft Community MVPs in a ceremony at Gillette Stadium on June 12. Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft, Patriots Charitable Foundation President Josh Kraft, Pro Football Hall of Famer and Patriots Executive Director or Community Affairs Andre Tippett, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, kicker Stephen Gostkowski, punter Zoltan Mesko and defensive linemen Vince Wilfork were all on hand to congratulate the winners, who were collectively awarded $200,000 in grants for their charities.

The Kraft family and New England Patriots Charitable Foundation's Myra Kraft Community MVP Awards place a spotlight on those who give their time to help others and exemplify leadership, dedication and a commitment to improving their communities through volunteerism. Annually, the Kraft family and New England Patriots Charitable Foundation host the awards program as part of the ongoing Celebrate Volunteerism initiative in honor Myra Kraft's example of being a lifelong volunteer. The 2013 MVPs represent all six New England states, a variety of nonprofit organizations and range from 15-92 years old.

"Volunteers are the unsung heroes of our communities," said Robert Kraft. "Unfortunately, they often go unrecognized for their contributions. These awards give us a chance to thank and recognize them. What I love most about this event is the touching stories and the opportunity to show a small token of our appreciation to these outstanding individuals."

The Patriots Charitable Foundation treated the MVPs and their guests to a luncheon prior to the ceremony which also featured displays about Myra Kraft, the history of the awards and past winners. Fifteen New England based organizations were presented with a $5,000 grant in honor of their volunteers' work with 10 more receiving grants of $10,000 and one grand prize winner of $25,000. In 2013, the Kraft family doubled the grant amounts to $200,000 as part of the Patriots Marathon Team record-breaking fundraising in support of the program.

Joe Markarian, a volunteer at Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, Mass., was the grand prize winner, earning $25,000 for the association.

"Perkins has done more for me than I have ever done for them," said Markarian. "Volunteering in the Assistive Device Center has given me the opportunity to feel like I have contributed to something important during my retirement years. I feel really honored and surprised by this recognition."

Name Hometown Organization Organization Town
$25,000 Grand Prize Winner
Joe Markarian Watertown, Mass. Perkins School for the Blind Watertown, Mass.

$10,000 Second Prize Winner
Coreena Behnke Yarmouth, Maine Amy St. Laurent Foundation Yarmouth, Maine
Shirley Fredlund New Milford, Conn. Voice for Joanie, Inc. New Milford, Conn.
Laurie Goguen Nashua, N.H. Harbor Homes, Inc. Nashua, N.H.
Stephen Hume Wilbraham, Mass. Alzheimer's Association Watertown, Mass
Georgette Levesque Manchester, N.H. VA Medical Center Manchester, N.H.
Kathleen Murphy Providence, R.I. San Miguel School Providence, R.I.
Jason Sissel Boston, Mass. Endure to Cure Pediatric Cancer Foundation Boston, Mass.
Frances Sytek Colebrook, N.H. Helping Hands North, Inc. Colebrook, N.H.
Marie-Claude Thompson Cambridge, Mass. Earthen Vessels, Inc. Boston, Mass.
Caroline Troise Providence, R.I. Rhode Island Free Clinic Providence, R.I.

$5,000 Third Prize Winners
Jackie Curtis Mansfield, Mass. Doll E. Daze Project & Museum, Inc. Mansfield, Mass.
Anthony DeQuattro Cumberland, R.I. Operation Stand Down Rhode Island Johnston, R.I.
Paul Espina Burlington, Vt. The Dream Program, Inc. Winooski, Vt.
Ellsworth Evans Westford, Mass. The Professional Center for Child Development Andover, Mass.
Toya Farrar South Boston, Mass. Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries Boston, Mass.
Taylor Filanowski Naugatuck, Conn. Sacred Heart University Fairfield, Conn.
Stephen Fine Peabody, Mass. Melanoma Education Foundation Peabody, Mass.
Robert Hunter Attleboro, Mass. Sturdy Memorial Hospital Attleboro, Mass.
John Lewandowski Manchester, N.H. Our Place Manchester, N.H.
Nick Lowinger Cranston, R.I. Gotta Have Sole Foundation, Inc. Cranston, R.I.
Raymond Luscinski Newbury, N.H. New England Handicapped Sports Association Newport, N.H.
Trudy Matthews Hollis, N.H. Bridges Nashua, N.H.
Michael Mascaro East Windsor, Conn. Nutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters Hartford, Conn.
Cheryl Robinson Middletown, R.I. Turning Around Ministries Newport, R.I.
Lori Sendroff Warren, R.I. Friends of the Bristol Animal Shelter Bristol, R.I.