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ESPN's Chris Berman to EMCEE Annual Patriots Kickoff Gala

With the Patriots finalizing their preparations for the NFL season opener in just two weeks, the team is set to kick off the season in style at the 2005 New England Patriots Charitable Foundation Kickoff Gala. On Tuesday, Aug. 30, the New England Patriots will host the annual Kickoff Gala in the Fidelity Investments Clubhouse at Gillette Stadium. For the past 12 seasons, the event has benefited the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation. Back to emcee the event for the third consecutive year is ESPN broadcaster Chris Berman. The event is currently sold out. It is the one event each year where Patriots fans have an opportunity to wine and dine with every member of their favorite team.

The gala is a yearly fundraiser for the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation. Monies raised help fund the many worthwhile causes that the foundation supports throughout New England. Since its inception in 1994, the Patriots Charitable Foundation has awarded thousands of in-kind donations to regional charities, totaling millions of dollars.

In addition, the Kickoff Gala features the announcement of the 2005 recipient of the New England Patriots Ron Burton Community Service Award, presented annually to a Patriots player for his philanthropic endeavors and in honor of the late Ron Burton. Burton was the first player drafted by the Boston Patriots' franchise on Nov. 22, 1959 and proved to be an "original" both on and off the field. This year's award winner will join Joe Andruzzi and Troy Brown, who were presented the honor in 2003 and 2004. In addition to the players, fans will have an opportunity to meet Patriots coaches and cheerleaders and can bid on some exclusive auction items, including one-of-a-kind pieces of sports memorabilia.

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